July 21, 2015
by Graham Reynolds
THE FLATS – Alphonso Jordan is an impressive athlete and young man. Jordan, a three-time NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifier and 2009 Indoor All-American at Georgia Tech, left for Toronto on Saturday to compete in his first Pan American Games.
After missing two seasons with a stress fracture in his leg, the 2010 Tech graduate competed in the triple jump at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. from July 25-28. Jordan jumped with a PR of 55.05.00 (16.89m) to earn a fifth place finish and a ticket to the XVII Pan Am Games. The triple jump performance came after he finished sixth at the 2011 USATF Outdoor Championships to miss qualification by one spot.
“I think I exceeded a lot of people’s expectations, including mine and my coaches’,” Jordan said. “The injury catapulted me to the next level. There was a silver lining in [my injury] at the end of the day.”
For weeks, Jordan has been training full speed for the Pan Am Games, practicing at 6:30 a.m. to beat the heat. He is excited to visit Canada for the first time and perform at an event with 41 nations, 36 sports, and over 6,000 athletes. The key for Jordan is to maintain a consistent level of focus and execution.
“I want to take care of the small things and really focus on myself. If I execute the way I’ve been executing in practice, the rest will take care of itself,” Jordan said.
Jordan’s season will likely end in September. After taking a few weeks off, he will then begin preparation for the Olympic trials to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Georgia Tech triple jump school record holder said the training will be an all or nothing period in October. Jordan intends to push himself to the limit in the weight room and on the track.
During his Georgia Tech career, Jordan developed a strong bond with Tech assistant coach Nat Page, who is in his 19th year with the Jackets’ track and field program. The two still train together and remain close friends to this day. Their relationship was one of the main reasons Jordan decided to stay in Atlanta after graduation.
“He’s kind of like an uncle or father figure to me to be honest. We’ve traveled all over the nation together and he has seen me grow up from a teenager to a man,” Jordan said. “He’s helped me with a lot of things during undergrad and graduate school as well as in the real world. He’s been one of the key figures in my life.”
With an intense motivational drive, Jordan has been just as successful off the track. He graduated from Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and recently graduated from SCAD with a Masters in graphic design. Jordan also started his own company called Yellowbird in 2014 and does freelance work as a designer in his spare time.
“Georgia Tech forced me to have excellent time management skills. A lot of what I learned at Tech helped me succeed and balance multiple jobs at a time.”
On July 24 in Toronto, Jordan will look to continue his success in the triple jump. Catch the coverage live on ESPN3/WatchESPN starting at noon.