There's Jordan Jenkins, the person: Smart, funny and genuine.
And then there's Jordan Jenkins, the New Oxford High runner: Competitive, driven and one of the hardest workers you'll ever see.
Jenkins doesn't need an introduction.
But after four years of unwavering success on the cross country course, her time is coming to an abrupt halt soon. So see her while you still can.
On Tuesday, Jenkins continued her strong senior campaign in the YAIAA Championships at John Rudy Park, finishing first in the girls' race in 18 minutes, 54 seconds.
According to New Oxford head coach Keith Williams, it was one of her top three times of the season.
"(The meet was) definitely felt really good," Jenkins said. "I feel pretty strong, but my legs are still pretty heavy. I haven't tapered too much."
Jenkins set a very fast pace early, creating a rift between her and the next three runners from the gun.
Her big white headband played an important part Tuesday. A person who overheats frequently, she said, it helped her cool off.
After heading out to an early lead, she never faltered, continuing on a steady pace throughout the familiar course. However, York Catholic's Kady Schrann did well to keep within an earshot of Jenkins. The Lady Irish runner finished second at 19 minutes, 7 seconds.
By the last mile, Jenkins had formed about a 15-second cushion and coasted to the finish.
The race itself was important, but she felt it was more
Over the next week, Jenkins said she will taper her mileage, which was hovering around 50 per week last week, to build up her legs. Because her her legs felt heavy, she said lowering the mileage will be critical.
Four places down the chart, South Western's No. 1 runner, Krista Donsen, ran the best meet of her career, finishing in fifth place with a time of 19:58.
"I knew I had to get out pretty fast," Donsen said. "But when I went up the first hill, I felt like I went out a little too fast."
It didn't really matter. Donsen showed enough resolve to keep with the lead pack and battled through the hot weather to finish impressively.
Her last half-mile, she said, was all heart.
"When we were coming down the hill and my legs were finished," Donsen said, "I knew I had to give it everything I had."
Spring Grove's Mel Riley (20:41) finished 10th, New Oxford's Kaylee Kubisiak (21:09) came in 19th and the Rockets' Steph Bange (21:36) finished a place outside the top 20.
Spring Grove's Kara Snyder (21:53), South Western's Abby Jones (22:17) and Delone Catholic's Mary Kate Lutz (22:24) finished in the top 30.
Contact Cory Mull at firstname.lastname@example.org.