PULLMAN, Wash. - Drew Jordan, Washington State University senior, takes on the role of cross country team captain for the 2013 season.
As an experienced runner, Jordan brings leadership to the cross country team. Last year, he was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team for both cross country and track and field. In his sophomore year (2011-12), he received honorable mentions for both sports. In the past two seasons, Jordan competed at the NCAA West Regional. He was the second Cougar finisher and 36th overall in his junior year.
On the track for the 2012-13 indoor season, Jordan set a mile PR (4:04.64i) at the Idaho Collegiate II and set a 5,000m PR (13:54.35i) at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships.
The captain hails from Medford, Ore. His WSU career stems from running at North Medford High School where he was a two-time Oregon state class 6A cross country champion in 2008 and 2009.
At Washington State, Jordan is pursuing a degree in criminal justice. In his time out of the classroom and not preparing for cross country meets, the 2013 men’s cross country captain was able to answer a few questions about himself and this year’s squad.
What are your duties as team captain?
Mostly we are just asked to set an example and try to keep everyone organized and on the same page. After a couple years in the system, most of the guys are very familiar and responsible with our training. I find myself being more of a mentor to the younger guys and just a peer with everyone who has been around the block a time or two.
Where is your favorite training run?
I love workouts. It sounds strange, but I love putting in the hard work knowing that I will be rewarded come the next race. I am definitely one of the more distance oriented guys, so I love the longer workouts like mile repeats and tempo runs.
Do you have a favorite pre-race meal/restaurant?
Not really. I try not to get too attached to a certain system or routine. I find that as soon as this routine is altered, it can throw people way off. I just try to find something that I know will work for me the night before a race. Simple carbs and proteins are the usual, or in other words, chicken and pasta of some sort.
The team spends a lot of time running together. What is your favorite thing to talk about on a run?
Now this is a tough question! We literally spend multiple hours each day just running and talking about the most random stuff. Long runs (100-plus minutes) can get the most interesting. Occasionally, people will get on a sensitive topic that they feel really strongly about like politics or religion, but for the most part, we mostly stick to more trivial things that we all can laugh about. Favorite topics probably include: the current state of various Cougar athletic programs, how ungodly cold the current weather is, fantasy football, and things of that nature.
What is your proudest athletic moment at Washington State?
There are so many moments that I have been proud to be a Cougar, but I think I would have to choose two. My sophomore year in cross country, our team qualified for NCAA’s and we finished 21st. That season was special because we really had a close group of guys. Everyone had their teammates back out there on the course and the chemistry on our team was something really special. The second moment was more of an individual moment. This last winter, I won the 5000m at the MPSF Indoor Championships. This is the indoor equivalent of the Pac-12 Conference and was the first major race I have won as an individual. I believe this race really marked a turning point in my career and is something I am really proud of.
During a tough race, what keeps you motivated?
My goals are what keeps me going during the tough parts of races. I go into each race knowing what I want to accomplish over the course of that particular race and over the course of the whole season. If I can keep focused on these goals and force myself through the tough spots of races, I find I usually do alright.
After living in Pullman for a few years, what is your favorite thing about the city?
The size of Pullman is my favorite quality. I love how small and close this community is. The sense of support not just by the university, but the whole city is a really neat feeling that I don’t believe many college athletes get to experience.
What is your favorite sport other than cross country?
Track and field. I love watching track, competing in track, and I love the people. The unique competitiveness that exists at a track meet is something special. The atmosphere and really being able to understand the sport and different events truly makes track a great sport.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There are so many places I would love to visit. If I had to choose one, I would have to say Scotland. I’m not sure why, but this country has always intrigued me and seemed like an amazing place. I know there are some good track and cross country races over there. Maybe after college I will get the opportunity to combine some of my favorite things and run some races over in Scotland.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
I want to become an NCAA All-American. This has been my biggest goal since coming to WSU and it still remains on top of my list. Last indoor season, I came really close and I believe I could have accomplished this during the outdoor season had an injury not derailed my season. Now that I’m healthy again, this has become my primary goal.
What is the most-played song on your iPod right now?
I’m not entirely sure, but I’m sure it’s something by Macklemore.
If you could hang out with a celebrity or professional athlete for one day, who would it be?
Nick Symmonds, one of the great American middle-distance runners right now. He is very inspirational and proactive in his quest to better our sport and fix some of the negatives. He is an inspiration to me and I would love to meet him some day.
Do you have a favorite class you’re taking this semester?
I am taking a class on racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. It is really interesting to learn about the different forms of discrimination and racism that still exist today. Some of these problems are still occurring in our government and are really interesting and sad to learn about.
What are your career aspirations for after college? Do you have a dream job?
My absolute dream job would be to continue running professionally after college. It’s a very competitive world outside of collegiate distance running, but I am going to do everything I can do to try and get in on it. There is nothing I would rather do than get paid to run and I believe my career here at WSU is helping set a foundation for this goal.