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Powell takes running to next level

Wednesday, October 24, 2007  
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By Tracy Washam

Oklahoma Christian University stand-out runner, Jordan Powell, wants to make his mark this season in both cross country and track. In order to leave his mark, Powell is willing to do whatever it takes.

“Jordan is the type of athlete who will not leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of his goals,” cross country head coach Wayne Strohman said. “He is very coachable and is willing to listen to his coaches and let them help him become the best athlete he can become.”

In the cross country team’s last meet at Oklahoma State University, Powell ran unattached in the “University Division”, competing against NCAA Division I and II schools. Although he placed 60th with a time a of 26:19, Powell and his coaches still believe there is a great chance for him to do well this season.

“Jordan has put in the necessary work enabling him to compete with any collegiate cross country runner,” Strohman said. “We felt the university race at Oklahoma State would be similar to the field he will be facing at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships.”

Powell is a strong runner, but he believes there is plenty of room for improvement and has no problem working hard to get better and improve his running.

“I hopefully ran my worst race of the season at Oklahoma State,” Powell said. “It was a bad race for me, so I think I can improve a lot before my next race.”

Running in a higher division can be a positive experience but at the same time can put in perspective what work is needed.

“I hope it boosted Jordan’s perception of our confidence in him as a runner,” assistant coach Mark Thompson said. “We have high hopes and expectations for him, and we want him to compete at a very high level. We don’t feel like that will happen without racing against higher level competition,”

Powell agrees with his coach’s expectations and has set some high goals this year, not only in cross country but in track as well. Both the coaches and Powell believe the goals are very reachable.

“I want to improve my times in cross country and track and make All-American in both this year,” Powell said. “I need to just keep running hard in the workouts with coach Thompson and not forget what my goals are and strive to achieve them.”

Both coach Strohman and Thompson fully expect Powell to have one of his best seasons this year and are working hard with him to help get him where he needs to be.

“We’re improving his strength this fall with some long tempo runs and intense mile repeat sessions,” Thompson said. “The intensity is a little higher than he’s trained at before, so it will take a little time to adjust.

Powell runs with heart and works with great determination. Getting enough sleep and eating healthily are some ways Powell prepares for his races. He seems willing to do whatever it takes to get to the level he wants to be.

“Jordan is totally dedicated,” Thompson said. “At one point this year during a pretty tough week he asked us if we thought he should run any extra mileage. He is a talented distance runner and has the opportunity to be the best in Oklahoma Christians’ history as long as he continues his commitment to working hard and racing smart.”

Before the Cowboy Jamboree at Oklahoma State, Powell had helped the Eagles to a No. 24 ranking national ranking. But with a 12th place team finish, the Eagles fell out of the NAIA Top 25 Poll released Wednesday.


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