Milesplit All-Stars Feature Athlete of the Week: Jordan Cross


This week we are doing a special version of the feature athlete of the week. We selected a boy and a girl from the same school who both caught our eye with high performance and great sportsmanship. Sarah Feeny and Jordan Cross: They're both very fast and they're also some of the nicest people you'll get a chance to talk to. 

We got the chance to speak for a bit with Jordan Cross and ask him a few questions about his season so far and also about his goals for the future.

Jordan as he nears the finish of State XC 2012 - Photo by Kyle Perry


So first thing, were you 4th at Simplot?

Yes sir I was


What’s your PR in the 3200?

2 weeks before Simplot at the Ice Oval at the Uhstca Championships I ran 9:19


Okay so you were 1 second off of that?

Yes sir


And tell me a little bit about how the race played out at Simplot?

Well I actually did better than I anticipated. On Monday I was sick and throwing up, and in the prelims I didn’t feel the best, but when it came to the finals I was really able to surprise my self and I feel like the Lord really allowed me to run a good race, and I was pretty happy.


Well that’s really cool. I don’t know if you ever heard but Michael Jordan had on of his best games when he was very sick… sometimes some of your best performances come when you don’t expect it.

Yeah I didn’t feel my best but I feel like I was really able to perform better than expected to that’s pretty cool.


And are you going to race any more indoor?

I am trying to find more races relatively close but I haven’t found any… I think the season is over for me indoor.


And what is your outdoor season looking like?

Right now I’m doing some really good base mileage and trying to build up my aerobic capacity and then when outdoor starts ill do some more intense workouts


What event do you want to focus on outdoor? Mile or 2 mile?

Really both


Are you going to run any 800’s?

I probably will, but I don’t think it will be my primary event. Last year I ran I think 1:59 at the Grizzly Invite in Logan, and that was my PR, but I would like to go after it and try to go close to 1:55 this year.


At least get your pr down to where you’re happy with it while still focusing on the 1600 and 3200?

Yeah absolutely, I think to be a successful distance runner you don’t only have to be strong and have endurance, but it seems like more and more these days you’ve got to be really fast at the end of the race.


You’ve got to have the wheels to go with it?

Yeah absolutely, I’m not sure if you’re sure what the winner, Ben, ran at Simplot, but he closed in about 55 seconds his last 400…


That’s ridiculous!

Yeah, but he’s also a 1:52 guy so you can see the correlation of how it goes hand in hand.  In order to really pull off an impressive performance you need the speed at the end… so for my goals, that’s where I’m thinking I want to improve.


So right now in between indoor and outdoor season build a base and then in season work on speed?

Yeah something like that… even in workouts just really fast and intense stuff… but right now I’m not really do anything except for long hard runs and then when outdoor gets here I’ll be doing shorter more intense intervals.


And how fast would you like to go this year?

I think I can run maybe about 4:10 in the 1600, and in the 3200 if I go to arcadia I would like to see if I can run under 9 minutes…but here at elevation I would like to see if I could go somewhere maybe 9:05-9:10.


Accounting for the elevation it’s definitely harder to do?

Yeah they say its about 12 seconds of conversion from the altitude.

It seems like when I do run down at sea level, like at Nike Southwest, I ran a 30 second PR in the 5k. I think there might be a correlation with the elevation, but yeah, I ran a massive pr.


Speaking of XC, which do you like better, Cross Country or Track?

Well they both have different qualities, track is really exciting but I really like the comraderie of Cross-Country. There’s just nothing like it in outdoor track. I like them about the same but just for different reasons


Yeah that’s how I felt in college, my best friends were in cross-country but then in track it was like business time.

Yeah I mean the guys and me we all train together in cross-country season, but in track you’re not so dependent on everyone doing well…. It’s not the same.


Well speaking your team, who else should we be watching for this upcoming track season?

Mike Buckley is someone to watch for. He hasn’t fully shown it this year but he is running as fast as I was when I ran my 9:29. He’s running faster than that and he just hasn’t yet in races.  So maybe if you say something in the article about mike running faster in races he will perform a little better. He works so bloody hard and he hasn’t raced like he trains yet, I really expect that he’ll be running 9:30 to 9:25, cause he’s really looking good.

Also Justin Sheets. But besides that we will have to wait until outdoor starts before we see who comes out for track and then it will get exciting. I’m just thrilled to see my teammates improving; it’s almost as rewarding as seeing myself improve to spur each other on.


Yeah that’s what I always say, seeing your friends succeed is better than any individual glory.

Yeah that’s the way it’s been the last 2 years the guys and me won the State XC Championship and it was just so well worth the work. Not only yourself winning but being able to do it as a team is unforgettable.


Now with guys not on your team, who are some of the guys you like racing against?

There’s a lot of them, I really like racing against Conner Mantz. He’s just a tough kid, he’s one of the most humble guys I’ve met but he’s tough as nails, Jerrell mock is the same kind of guy and Jake Heslington, Ben Saarel. All the Utah guys in general are a real good group of guys. I guys as a whole Utah’s distance runners are a good clean group of competitors that you enjoy competing against, and you know at the finish line they will be there cheering you on and congratulating each other. It’s just a good competitive spirit. I really love Utah distance running. Even though we’re competitors there’s almost a comraderie between the competitors, its great.


Even though Conner beat me at Simplot man, as a sophomore, I really like him and respect him for his attitude and he’s a good guy.


Do you have a specific pre-race meal you like eating on race day?

Not really, a lot of times I’m at school so its whatever the school will feed me. A lot of times I will bring a ham and cheese sandwich and an apple.


What is the hardest workout you’ve ever done?

There’s too many of them, I don’t even know. Maybe the one that I did yesterday. I did 6x1000. I ran them in between 2:55 and 2:58.  I just try to do them close to 2 mile pace. I did them on a 200m indoor track.  It was a tough workout. Mike Buckley was right behind me, so he ran an impressive workout as well. He was nailing them.


And do you have a favorite workout?

I like the workouts right before races because they’re quick and intense. You’re running fast and starting to feel fresh, it’s always nice to do those workouts.


Do you have any crazy running related stories?

I have too many of them. I saw a bobcat the other day while I was running. I saw it up on the trails by my high school. I didn’t want to get too close cause I could see its hip bones and everything, it was so scrawny I didn’t want It to eat me.


Any other hobbies you are interested in?

I enjoy playing guitar and mandolin. During the summer I like to go swimming in reservoirs and that kind of stuff. Hiking and backpacking, I like anything to do with the outdoors like biking, you name it. I don’t do much skiing though but that’s just because its so pricey.



Previous Featured Athletes


Kramer Morton - Alta High School

Emily Rich – Bingham High School

Conner Mantz - Sky View

Sarah Feeny - Ogden