Jordans go coast to coast for Junior Olympics meet

It has been a long and winding trip to California this summer for brother and sister Sam and Savannah Jordan.

One that started years ago with complex training with the Florence Track Club and then with the Myrtle Beach Track Club.

The two siblings are competing in Sacramento California this week in the USATF Hershey’s National Junior Olympic Championships after qualifying at the South Carolina state level.

For Sam, an eighth-grader at North Myrtle Beach Middle School, it was a sixth place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 9.14 meters that got him to the west coast.

He has since participated in the 13-14 age division for week placing 35th overall after starting third in his heat early in the week.

It was the third trip to the nationals for Savannah, who will be a rising junior at North Myrtle Beach High School.

Her trip to Sacramento came after she won the state championship for South Carolina in the javelin with a throw of 29.13m (95 feet, 7 inches). To date – her best throw has been 32.73m (107feet, 4 inches).

Sam was glad to see that himself and Savannah could both make it to the nationals. He was also looking forward to taking a bike tour of the Golden Gate Bridge.

“I was glad when I heard that my sister and I both made it because my family all agreed that if one sibling didn’t make it, then we all would not go,” said Sam Jordan.

Savannah enjoys the experience of having her brother make it to the next level this year.

“It’s fun being able to take my brother to nationals,” said Savannah Jordan. “This is my fourth time qualifying and my brother’s first, so this will be a great experience for both him and me.”

Sam, who wrestles for the North Myrtle Beach High School team, also runs the 100 meter hurdles and the long jump for North Myrtle and the Myrtle Beach Track Club. He was excited about participating against the top athletes in the nation.

“It was a little nerve racking because I knew that they would be some very good competition,” added Sam Jordan.

Savannah, who also plays golf, soccer and participates in track for the Lady Chiefs, has trained with two coaches for the javelin. She also participates in the high jump at North Myrtle.

Coaches Don Santianna and Capers Williamson have helped her develop the craft for the event. They have helped her reach the top level four times in a row.

“Coach Don has been my coach since I was very young and he has helped me get to a lot of meets and he has helped mold me into the athlete that I am today,” said Savannah Jordan. “Capers has helped me tremendously throughout this year. He is number one in the United States for javelin.”

The family has been able to tour various parts of California from the trees at Yosemite to several areas around Sacramento and San Francisco. They were planning a tour of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge among others.

Savannah is scheduled to throw on Saturday morning in hopes of reaching the next level and a new goal at the nationals.

“I find it a privilege to come to California and compete in the nationals. Not many people get to do this or even qualify,” said Savannah Jordan. “It is a real honor to participate at that level.”

Photo by Joel Beachum

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