Jordan Thummel was already a standout for the Hanks Knights in running events.
But the sophomore was looking for another challenge last year in her chosen sport of track and field.
She found just the right event to fill her desire — pole vault.
So far, the talented Thummel has been very good. Last year, she finished fourth in the District 1-5A meet and just missed out on a chance to go to the regional meet.
This year, she has already set a Hanks school record with a mark of 9 feet, 6 inches.
I still have a lot of work to do in the event,” she said. “No way am I perfect in the pole vault. I am still working hard at the event and I’m learning all the time. My goal this year is qualify for the regional event.”
Thummel’s improvement in the pole vault comes as no surprise to Knights girls track and field coach Kim Gomez.
“Jordan is fearless and she wants to be the very best she can be at whatever she competes in,” the coach said. “She has come a long way in the past year because of her hard work. I think she has a tremendous upside in this event. She trains hard and she has a lot of strength. Jordan is also a very confident person.”
Thummel isn’t just a standout in the pole vault. She’s also an established hurdler in the 100-and 300-meter events, and she’s off to a good start this year in both. Last year, she qualified for regionals in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I like the hurdles a great deal, and the 300-meter hurdles is my best event,” Thummel said. “I’m aiming for improvement in both of those events as well. I’d really like to qualify for regionals in all three events. I know that will take a lot of work and dedication, but I’m up for the task.”
Thummel isn’t just all about track and field. She’s a well-rounded person, who takes great pride in playing the clarinet in the school band.
Oftentimes, she has had to balance band and sports on the same day. Earlier this season, she had a band commitment early on a Saturday morning and then had to hustle over to a track meet.
“I love doing both,” Thummel said. “I’ve been doing both for so long and I take great pride in doing both. Both music and sports have provided me with a lot of opportunities.”
Gomez has the rest of this year and two more years to work with Thummel, an opportunity that she is looking forward to.
“Jordan wants to be successful and she’s easy to coach,” Gomez said. “I believe her best days are ahead of her.”