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Steeple Speed, Gratitude, & Independence in 8:44.25 | Jordan Macintosh by Dan Fitzgerald
I caught up with Heartbreaker Flyer Jordan Macintosh after he opened up his 2022 outdoor season at the Oregon State High Performance meet with a blazing 5K just short of his PR in 13:58.52 (read here). Just a couple of weeks later he, raced his first ever Steeple Chase and had this to say via his Instagram:
"All I can feel after yesterday is gratitude … I’ve felt like for the last couple years, or even my entire collegiate career, I’ve been waiting for some sort of breakthrough, and it finally came yesterday in an event I’ve never ran before. Won my steeple debut in 8:44.25, which would rank in the top 30 of the NCAA as of last night (if I were running attached). Can’t say thank you enough to @joshua.seitz and @griffinhumphreys and the @psuvikstf team who believed in me from the start.
Giving the steeple another go in a month at the Portland Track Festival on June 10th #goviks"
One could feel that a breakthrough race was long time coming for this talented athlete. I had to ask what was on his mind:
DF: Can you share some of the context around why this performance was so meaningful to you?
JM: This race meant a lot to me because I’ve felt like it’s been in the making for a long time. My running career has definitely had some ups and downs. I first started training for track and field my junior year of high school, and found success really quickly. I won a Canadian National under-18 title in the 1500m that year and as a new person to the sport I thought that my trajectory was going to be linear and that I’d just keep getting better. That definitely wasn’t the case. I really struggled to perform again at a high level for a couple years and it wasn’t until my junior year of college that I ran a faster time than what I did my junior year of high school. What helped a lot is that I found out I had an extremely low amount of iron (8 ferritin) so I started improving but even after that I still felt like I wasn’t competing at the level I thought I should be. So, after graduating from the university of Minnesota last year I decided to transfer to Portland State University to run here and get a master’s degree, and that’s when the idea to run the steeplechase happened between my coach (Joshua Seitz) and I.
DF: How has the choice to take your talents "independent" rather than "university-affiliated" allowed you to thrive this year?
JM: I think what’s made this season stand out to me has been my mindset in training and racing. Because I’m running unattached [to a university] I haven’t had to worry about trying to run fast times to qualify for the West Region meet, so my mentality going into races has been just to have fun with it. The longer I compete in this sport, the more I’ve learned to cherish the time I have being a part of a team and being able to compete for something. This season I haven’t put any pressure on myself to run a certain time and I think that’s really freed me to just race, and along with that has come some special races so far. In the past I think I’ve been so focused on times that I’ve forgot to race the people around me. Now, that’s all I focus on.
DF: You have the Portland Track Festival on June 10th. What kind of magic will you be cooking up in training between now and then?
JM: I’m really looking forward to continuing my season and giving the steeplechase another try at Portland Track Fest on June 10th. I’ve only gone over the water pit once in practice and done one workout over hurdles so between now and then I’m going to be getting more comfortable with running over barriers and hopefully I can do something special on June 10th!
Look out for Jordan and the Flyers racing at the front of pack in at the Portland Trackfest, Grandma's Marathon, and Chicago's new 13.1!