As a sophomore Quincy High’s Jordan Johnson finished ninth in the state in the discus, and that meant he left the Eastern Illinois University campus without a medal. That was a year ago.
Fast-forward to this track and field season and you’ll find the expert in the disc doesn’t just have a chance to make the podium, he has an opportunity to win a state title.
"Basically you just have to go out there and do what you’ve already done," said QHS head track coach Matt McClelland.
"But at the same time when it comes time to step up you’re going to have to step up and throw further at state."
Johnson added more than 20 feet to his discus throw during the off-season and broke a 41-year school record in the process. His latest throw of 196 feet, three inches is best in the state and ranks third nationally.
"It’s meant a lot because it was the goal to improve and put my name out there to the point where I would get national attention and that was the whole goal of getting a lot stronger and working on my form," said Johnson.
As far as Johnson’s next goal is concerned the junior wants to toss the discus 200 feet. Given his quick rise, both in the state and nationally, reaching the benchmark likely isn’t a matter of if, but when.
"It’s something that you just dream of," he said.
"It would be something impressive and I’d love to do I didn’t know if I would. Now that it is actually something that could happen it’s just unbelievable."
Johnson is in search of a conference title at Flinn Stadium on Thursday before competing in the Belleville West Sectional on May 18.