No matter how big the stage, or how new an event is, recent Bayfield High School graduate Jordan Lanning is always willing to give it a go. She set her bar even higher at the Great Southwest Classic held last weekend at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Lanning, a soon-to-be Colorado State University athlete, won her first ever heptathlon, as she scored 4,870 points over the course of the weekend and also set a new personal record in the high jump when she jumped 5-feet, 10½ inches. It shattered her old record of 5-9 which was set at the San Juan Relays at Ignacio High School earlier this year. She won the CHSAA Class 3A state title with a jump of 5-8.
“Doing the heptathlon felt way different than anything I’ve done before because it was back-to-back, essentially, and I constantly had to be focusing on whatever was next,” Lanning said. “It was a really good experience, and I am glad that I was able to do one before getting to CSU.”
Lanning plans to compete in the heptathlon in college. The event consists of a mix of track and field events, including the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, the high jump, long jump, javelin throw and shot put.
Lanning’s high jump last weekend was one of the highlights of her career, she said. Lanning was able to beat her second-place opponent, Madelyn McCabe of Cashion High School in Oklahoma, by more than three inches. McCabe jumped a 5-7, as did third-place finisher Mayci Togerson, based out of North Sevier High School, in Salina, Utah.
“It was definitely surreal, not only having a personal-best, but doing it by an inch and a half; it was really great,” she said. “It was my second event of the hep, and I just felt really strong coming into it. Once I hit that mark, I was super excited and thought that it would really carry my momentum, and it did.”
Lanning got off to a fast start when she finished 15th in the 100-hurdles with a wind-aided time of 14.56 seconds. She fared well in the 200 (26.01), and placed 38th. On Day 2, she was 23rd in the long jump (17-07) and 33rd in shot put (26-6.25). She topped it off with a ninth-place finish in the javelin throw (115-02) and a 25th-place finish in the 800 (2:36.15).
“I struggled a bit in the long jump and shot put, but once I got to the javelin throw, I knew that if I had a good score in that I would win, and so I really focused on that,” Lanning said. “The javelin was great, and I knew that I clinched it. It was a really good way to finish out my high school career.”
Durango High SchoolThe Demons had their own representative at the Great Southwest.
Aidan Fitzgerald competed in the 3,200-meter run and finished second in 9:31.45. He also was part of the winning 4x800-meter relay team that consisted of three other Colorado runners who won by more than 12 seconds.
In the 3,200, Ian Valentine of Alta High School, based in Sandy, Utah, won in 9:30.62. Erik Le Roux of Cheyenne Mountain was third and crossed the line in 9:35.82.
Fitzgerald, who will attend the University of Portland in the fall, said he was disappointed in the race pace.
“I thought it went OK, but the first mile was really pedestrian-like,” Fitzgerald said. “We went out and ran 5:02 and came back in 4:29 on the second mile. It was super uneven pacing, and I mean everybody was still in the race after the first mile. I don’t think that anybody wanted to take that race, and we all sat back and waited for somebody to make a move.”
Fitzgerald said he had the lead heading into the final 400 meters, but Valentine was able to dig deep and passed him on the final home stretch to take the win.
New Balance NationalsSome Demons will compete at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the boys 4x800 of Fitzgerald, Noah Bodewes, Marcus Flint and Luke Tichi, which won a Class 4A state championship last month, will gun for a national title.
It will be hot and muggy this weekend in Greensboro, and as a way to adjust to the humidity, Bodewes joked that they’ll spend some time in the sauna. Tichi is excited to race together as a group one last time, humidity or not.
“We’re going to be doing the 4x800 and 4x400, which will be fun,” Tichi said. “We’re definitely looking to have fun down there. I think it’ll be exciting to see some national competition and go into something where it’s a big opportunity for us. We’ve never done the 4x400, and while our main focus is the 4x8, the 4x4 will be fun and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”
The 4x800 will be held Saturday night with the 4x4 on Sunday morning. Fitzgerald will end the meet running in the open 1,600-meter run, which will be midday Sunday.