Today we chat with one of the fastest returning track and field/xc runners in the state of California, Del Campo's Jordon Rushing. During the last track and field season, Jordon won the SJS Masters meet in the 1600m. with a then PR of 4:17.87. He followed that effort at the state meet trials by advancing to the finals as the last qualifier by running 4:13.05. In one of the deepest 1600m. races in state history, Jordon set another pr with his 4:12.64 to finish in 10th place and will be the fourth fastest returner from that race next season. During cross country season, Jordon finished in 2nd place at the SJS Division II race behind El Camino's Chris Kigar. Along with seniors Robert Pflasterer and Jack Nevins, Jordon helped the always tough Del Campo xc squad finish in 4th place in the state Division II race.
1. What sports did you do before high school? How did you get started with running?
I played recreational soccer from the age of 4 until I was 11. When I started middle school I decided I wanted to try something new. All my brothers had run for Del Campo High School and I wanted to follow in their foot steps and continue the family tradition. My Brother Jeremy's team was 5th in CIF D2 in 2001, my brother Joel ran JV his Sr. year and my brother Jesse was a team captain for the 2006 D3 CIF runner up. I have enjoyed running ever since then.
2. What do you remember about your freshman season in cross country? Highlights?
I remember my first day of practice the most. Within the first two minutes of my first practice, an upper classman threw a tennis ball and hit me in the middle of my back, leaving a giant welt. All I could think about during the rest of the run was to stay with him and show him that as a freshman I could really run. We eventually became really good friends. My freshman year highlight was winning the Capital Athletic League frosh/soph finals and being picked as an alternate on the State cross country team.
3. Who were your mentors on the team at that time?
Dan Mitchell and Matt Case were always big mentors on the team beginning my freshman year and are my mentors to this day. I never imagined being as fast as Dan Mitchell who held the school records in the 1600m (4:15) and the 3200m (8:56). I broke Dan's record in the 1600m this year at the State meet, Dan made the trip to Fresno and gave me some pre-race advice and was one of the first to congratulate me after the race.
4. When did you first start to achieve success in either cross country and/or track and field?
When I started to run for Coach King my freshman year I became a successful runner almost immediately. I would say my breakout was halfway through my junior year at the Clovis Invitational. Ever since that time I have had the confidence to run with the top competitors in each race.
5. What were some of your tougher workouts or runs that you remember from your freshman and sophomore seasons in either xc or track?
I would say the hardest was and still is the 5 x 1 mile intervals at pace, followed by 3 x 300s. My freshman year I was just trying to survive the workouts, but now the goal is to make sure that they are sub. 5:00, and get the most out of every workout.
6. Tell us a little about your coach Bob King and how he has help you develop as a runner.
Coach King has always preached self confidence and believing in my workouts. He has always had the confidence in me even when I didn't perform up to my standards. He knew what I was capable of and told me to stop thinking and just run. Coach King has coached for 43 years and has had many elite runners so when he tells us to focus on our goals and work hard everyday, we know he knows what he is doing.
7. Your team has a camp before the start of the school year. What do you feel are the most important things that take place at the camp that help you guys during the season?
Our camp is about the importance of running as a team as much as an individual. We have many DC alumni who participate and mentor the team. Being at camp gives us the opportunity to build on, and improve our strength. We like to have a relaxed atmosphere but when it comes time to workout we try to stay focused.
8. What are some of your favorite traditions that take place during the season at Del Campo?
Some of the guys like getting together and going on night runs before travel days, and Friday morning food runs.
9. Tell us a little about your track and field season last year and some of your highlights and personal records?
Last year's track season was a really good year for me and my focus was to make it to the State meet in the 1600m. Coach King always has us training for the end of the year and not mid season meets so there are a few meets I had wished I had done better in, but peaking for Masters and State was all part of his planning. The highlights of my season were winning the 1600m at the SJS Masters in 4:17, breaking our school record for the 1600m at State trials in 4:13 then running 4:12.64 for 10th place in the finals.
10. Favorite run? Favorite xc workout? Favorite xc course? Favorite xc race? Favorite competitor(s)? Favorite track meet? Favorite track race? Favorite track workout?
Night runs and donut runs. 40 min out and 40 min back at pace. Willow Hills. The Woodbridge Classic. Chris Kiger, Riley Ruppenthal and former team mates Robert Pflasterer and Jack Nevins. The State trails/finals, it was a fantastic experience for me. 1600m. 8 x 800 at pace.
11. How would you convince an incoming freshman at Del Campo HS to join your cross country team?
I tell them it is really a lot of fun. Like most sports it is tough at first, but if you apply yourself and just keep going it does get easier. There is a lot of satisfaction in training hard for a result and then achieving it.
12. Anything else you would like to add.
I would like to thank you for this interview. This is the first time I have ever been interviewed and I really had a good time doing it. Thanks for your coverage of our sport you do a great job at it. I would also like to thank my assistant coaches, Sue Grinstead and Clay Lowrey for all their hard work and the time they spend with our team.Jordon Rushing DC~XC
Thank you very much for your time Jordon! AJC