(Jordan placed 10th in the Division 4 boys race at last year's State Championships.-photo by John Hays)
Name: Jordan Black
School: North Phoenix Prep
Where are you from and when did you begin running?
I was born and raised in Phoenix and started running the summer of 2012 because I wanted to run the Rock & Roll half-marathon in 2013.
What's does your typical week of training look like?
We do a hill or speed interval workout on Monday, a long run on Tuesday, a mile time trial and short run on Wednesday, a leg speed workout or short run on Thursday. We're off on Friday and Saturday is usually race day!
Would you describe your pre-race routine or a mantra you say to yourself at meets?
My dad always cuts my hair the night before I race (he says it helps with wind resistance) and I always wake up early and take a hot shower the morning of a race to help loosen up. My teammates and I play cards and listen to music at the meet before we race.
You're friends with many talented runners around the valley. Do you enjoy racing against anyone in particular?
I enjoy racing against Caden Hercules from Desert Mountain and Adam Whitehead from Arete Prep the most. I met Caden at the Meet of Champions last spring and we put in some miles together over the summer and I've run against Adam since we were in middle school.
You've improved a lot over the past year. What would you attribute that success to most? (Any new healthy habits you've developed?)
Over the summer, I started training and working on core exercises to get stronger for this season. My coaches and my team are always pushing me to be the best I can be. I'm also finding out that I'm more competitive than I once was.
Do you have a role model in the sport?
My role models include all the coaches I've had: Coach Brad Curtis, Coach James Bonnett, Coach Jeff Stelnik, Coach Brian McCallister (AZ Track Academy/Pinnacle), and Coach Dave Van Sickle (Go The Distance/Xavier) and Coach Josh Trevino. They've helped me improve as a runner and have also helped me become a better person.
What's the best advice they or anyone in the sport has given you?
I think the best advice I've received is to develop a love of the sport. No one wants to work towards something if they don't love it, so my old Coach, Josh Trevino, told me to love running so we would work harder.
(Below: Jordan broke 16-minutes to place 11th at the Doug Conley Invitational.-photo by Harold Smith)
What kind of confidence did breaking 16-minutes at Doug Conley give you?
After Doug Conley, I was extremely happy I achieved one of the early season personal goals I had set for myself in breaking 16. It helped me realize that all the miles, hill sprints, and core work I put in over the summer have started to pay off.
What's your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school is Math.
(Below: The Gladiators competed at the Mt. SAC Invitational on Friday)
Have you set any season goals for yourself or with your fellow Gladiator teammates?
My individual and our team goals are the same: to win sectionals THEN WIN STATE! Go Gladiators!!
What hobbies do you have outside of running?
In my free time usually play video games with my brother or watch videos on YouTube.
Do you intend to run any post season meets and if so, which one(s)?
I'll be running NXR in Casa Grande, November 18th then Foot Locker at Mt. SAC, December 2nd followed by a few half marathons before track starts.