MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Catherine Jordan, a junior at Columbia High School, has been participating in track since age 8, having participated with the Jaguar Track Club for seven years before starting at CHS. During her freshman year at CHS, Jordan ran 2:19:08 in the 800-meter and won the Essex County Championships in high jump, both indoor and outdoor. She also ran the 4×800 in The Penn Relays and the 400-meter in nationals. The team won Essex County and Super Essex Conference championships, both indoor and outdoor.
During Jordan’s sophomore year she came back to run cross country and defended her title in high jump, both indoor and outdoor. The team took the Essex County title, SEC title and Sectional Group IV title. She again competed in The Penn Relays, this time in the 4×4 meter.
During the indoor season of her junior year, Jordan won the Essex County title in high jump. She also competed in the Meet of Champions for the 800-meter, placing eighth overall with a time of 2:17:39. This indoor season, Jordan had the opportunity to participate in nationals for the pentathlon, which she described as “a very fun and different experience.” For the outdoor season, the team again took the SEC championship and, with the season coming to an end, Jordan has high expectations that her time in the 800-meter will drop significantly.
When did you first get involved with track and field?
I first got involved in track and field at the age of 8 when I started running for the Jaguar Track Club of South Orange and Maplewood. At the time my mother had placed me in multiple sports, such as gymnastics, tennis and basketball, to figure out what I enjoyed the most. My mother’s last attempt for an after-school activity was track and field. After a few track practices I fell in love with it.
What is your favorite track and field memory?
When I was about 11, when we had a meet in Maryland, we were participating in sprint medley relay, which consists of 200, 200, 400 and 800 meters. Our top competitors were Delco Track team and Mt. Airy Track team. My top competition was Sydney Townsend from Delco, who had run a faster time than me in the 800-meter. When it was my turn to run, Delco had about a 200-meter lead on us. During this race I was determined to catch Sydney. Slowly but surely I started catching up to her and when we came around the 250-meter mark I was sitting on her back. At this point I was fighting fatigue and told myself to keep going as she started to pick it up. I picked it up to go with her for another 10 meters; the lactic acid in my thighs were burning. I didn’t catch her, but my team came in second place. That was the closest all season I had got to beating Sydney. This accomplishment made me feel as though, if I put anybody in my sights, I can beat them.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to listen to music, draw or hangout with friends when I’m not running track. This allows me downtime to relax when I’m not running on the weekends or at practice.
What is your favorite track and field event?
My favorite track and field event is the 800-meter because the race is the perfect combination of speed and endurance. It’s also a race where you’re able to pace yourself but also have enough time to lay in wait and then outkick somebody in the end.
What is your favorite movie genre?
My favorite movie genre would have to be action movies because of all the excitement you get from watching those movies. My favorite movie — I don’t really have one, but my favorite series of movies would have to be the “Jurassic Park” movies.
Do you have any superstitions relating to track and field?
No, but before any major meets or races I pray that I execute the plan that my coach and I set up beforehand. I also tell myself that this is what I train for: “You can do this, Catherine.”
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I wish to travel to many places, but my first stop would be Japan because their culture intrigues me as well as the beautiful scenery that can be found there. I also have a love for Manga and Anime comic books and TV shows.
What are some of your favorite sports teams?
Some of my favorite sports teams consists of the University of Kansas basketball team, as well as University of North Carolina and University of Arizona.
What is your favorite subject in school? Your least favorite?
My favorite subject in school is psychology because it explains some of the reasons why humans act the way they do and think. I always had questions as to why us humans act certain ways even when we know it may not be the best decision to make. It leaves my mind with more questions than answers and also allows me insight on how our brains work. My least favorite subject would have to be geometry because it required memorization of proofs and understanding why certain things apply to certain shapes. I just couldn’t find myself to comfortably grasp the concept of geometry.
What is something that most people probably don’t know about you?
I am an enthusiastically cultural person when it comes to learning about different cultures and customs.
Is there any specific music you listen to to get pumped up for a meet?
Yes, I have a playlist of music that helps me focus for meets. That playlists consists of songs by Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, PnB Rock and Tory Lanez.
What are your summer plans?
My summer plans this year consist of getting ready for the cross country season as well as relaxing with friends and finding a job.
Do you have any role models you look up to in the track and field community?
I have many role models in the track and field community, such as Raevyn Rogers, who runs for the University of Oregon, as well as Sanya Richard-Ross, Chanelle Price, Allyson Felix and Brenda Martinez.