NXN Boys — JoJo Jourdon On A Banner Day For Utah

Senior JoJo Jourdon (Olympus, Salt Lake City), an 8:49.93+ 2-miler last spring, pressed hard over the last kilometer to a 2-second win. (JOHN NEPOLITAN)

PORTLAND, OREGON, December 02 — Plentiful rain in recent days made the Glendoveer course much more challenging than usual. It also washed away the formchart. Rising to the occasion was JoJo Jourdon (Olympus, Salt Lake City), the Utah state champion who was only 2nd in the Southwest Regional. Teamwise, Utah remained the theme as Herriman and American Fork went 1–2 for the first Utah win ever.

Everyone knew the course would run slower in the soft conditions, but no one knew just what it would take out of the runners. Indeed, at the start the crowded pack kept things fairly conservative, hitting the first K in abut 2:55. It only got slower from there. At 1100 the pack hit the big puddle, 10 or so strides underwater before they hit land on the other side.

While up front at 2K was a trio of Californians led by Luca Cohen (Albany), Jourdon ran in 7th, but made his move halfway through the next kilometer. Once in the lead, he didn’t seem in a hurry to break away. Rather, he focused on staying smooth and controlled. At 4K, he had a 2.7-second margin on Cameron Todd (Brebeuf, Indianapolis).

That’s when Jourdon started driving hard. His lead grew until he had 30m on Todd just before the climb up the brutal hill before the finish. In previous years, the hill has proved devastating to some leaders. Jourdon was ready for it, powering up it with gusto and sneaking a quick look back after the first incline.

Todd closed faster, but Jourdon had enough of a cushion to take the win, 15:16.5–15:18.5. Closing even faster was Nathan Neil (Bozeman, Montana), but he only made it to 3rd with his 15:18.6. Austin Westfall (Orem, Utah) and Manny Putz (Onalaska, Wisconsin) took the next 2 spots in 15:22.6 and 15:23.1.

Last year’s runner-up, Daniel Simmons of American Fork, had beaten Jourdon at the Southwest Regional but only could nab 13th here in 15:29.9.

Said Jourdon, “I knew where 2.5 K was, and I felt good and I told myself, ‘I’m going to make a move. My senior year, I have nothing to lose, my last year at NXN, I’m just here to have some fun.’ And I made it and I didn’t look back.”

Near the end Jourdon actually did glance back: “My first look back was coming up that last hill and I saw those two boys powering up it, and I was like, ‘I gotta move. Those boys can definitely catch me, they can close hard.’ I took one last look back halfway through the final stretch and I knew I had it.”

The team win went to Utah’s Herriman, which had placed 3rd last year and been ranked No. 4 going in. The Mustangs scored 83 to beat rival American Fork by 17 points. Carroll finished 3rd with 138. For the Utah schools, the result overturned earlier major results, as American Fork beat Herriman by 6 at their State Meet and by 42 at the Southwest Regional. “Today we thought it would be who got out harder,” said Herriman senior Jack Beckstrom.


Teams: 1. Herriman 83; 2. American Fork 100; 3. Carroll 138; 4. Miami Havana 187; 5. Niwot 197; 6. Lincroft 202; 7. Downers North 215; 8. San Clemente 263; 9. Riverton 266; 10. Dana Point 267; 11. Coeur d’Alene 269; 12. Southern Oregon 290; 13. Bentonville 320; 14. Southeast Portland 326; 15. Plainfield North 365; 16. Stevens Point 378; 17. Temecula 393; 18. Wayzata 402; 19. Westfield 431; 20. Woodbury 466; 21. West Nashville 468; 22. Auburn 503.

Individuals (5K): 1. JoJo Jourdon (SW2) 15:16.5; 2. Cameron Todd (MW5) 15:18.5; 3. Nathan Neil (NW6) 15:18.6; 4. Austin Westfall (SW5) 15:22.6; 5. *Manny Putz (Heart3) 15:23.1; 6. Porter Middaugh (SW3) 15:25.2; 7. Jimmy Wischusen (NE5) 15:25.5; 8. Jason Parra (Cal5) 15:25.9; 9. Josh Bell (Cal1) 15:26.6; 10. *TJ Hansen (MW3) 15:27.8;

11. Byron Grevious (NE1) 15:28.0; 12. Sam Scott (Heart4) 15:29.0; 13. Daniel Simmons (AmFork) 15:29.9; 14. Landon Heemeyer (NW1) 15:30.0; 15. *Tommy Latham (SE6) 15:30.1; 16. James Partlow (SE4) 15:31.2; 17. Andrew Ludwig (Riverton) 15:31.2; 18. *Josiah Tostenson (SnOr) 15:32.5; 19. *Eli Fitchen-Young (Cal3) 15:33.6; 20. *Robert Mechura (Heart2) 15:36.1;

21. **Caden Leonard (Carroll) 15:36.7; 22. Aloysius Franzen (StevensPt) 15:36.8; 23. ***Marcelo Mantecon (MiaHavana) 15:37.1; 24. Lucas Cohen (Cal2) 15:37.7; 25. Colin Eckerman (SE1) 15:38.5; 26. *Broen Holman (Cal4) 15:40.1; 27. Dylon Nalley (MW4) 15:40.3; 28. Jack Beckstrom (Herriman) 15:40.9; 29. Steven Hergenrother (NE2) 15:41.1; 30. Berkley Nance (SE3) 15:41.5;

31. *Hudson Haley (South3) 15:42.2; 32. Josh Ruiz (MiaHavana) 15:42.3; 33. *Luke Pash (NE4) 15:42.4; 34. *Jonah Tang (Herriman) 15:42.4; 35. Aden Bandukwala (MW1) 15:42.6; 36. *Ben Montgomery (South4) 15:44.7; 37. *Kyle Steadman (SW4) 15:45.0; 38. **Rocco Culpepper (Niwot) 15:45.3; 39. ***Quinn Sullivan (Niwot) 15:46.3; 40. Brett Ephraim (SanClemente) 15:46.4. (201 finished)