Jordan Theriault sets the tone for the cross country team

Henry Schleizer and Matthew Peterson

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South students may dread running the mile in gym class, but for sophomore Jordan Theriault, varsity cross country runner, he feels differently. For Theriault, running for the cross country team is more than a hobby.

“I was just kind of an antsy kid, I just always wanted to get outside and run around,” Theriault said. “I remember the first time I did an actual mile run, it was probably in third grade. We did the mile run, and I just thought it was fun.”

His real love for running long distances began in middle school and was encouraged by former Springman Coach Michael Field.

“[Field] understood that I was pretty good at running, and he didn’t really take it a step further, but helped encourage me and helped me get myself going about this,” Theriault said.

What started as running just for fun, soon turned into a talent that would put him on the varsity cross country. Theriault recently earned all-conference, runs a 4:30 mile and a 15:33 three mile. He also currently holds freshman records in the 1,600 meter, the mile and the 3,200 meter.

Theriault, who also runs for the track team in the spring, has helped the Titans to achieve high place finishes throughout the season. Kurt Hasenstein, Cross Country coach, holds Theriault in high regards.

“We have a style of running on our team called pack running, and what all of them do, especially Jordan, … [is he] will see if [a teammate] is close to him…[he] puts a hand back so [he] can encourage them to keep up,” Hasenstein said. “What we want them to do is slap them five, one of the things that Jordan does is put a hand back, slow up just a little bit so the teammate reaches out for them so they continue to run together, because they tend to run faster with a teammate that kind of helps you push yourself, that’s probably the most vivid example of his leadership on the course.”

According to Theriault, being a young gun on the varsity team he acknowledges the unique leadership qualities mentioned by Hasenstein.

“I’m not really the type of leaders who would bark orders or anything like that,” Theriault said. “In the races you need a leader in your pack to get people to come chase after you, and I feel like I would fit that role.”

Joey Pauletto, one of Theriault’s teammates, notices the hard work and dedication Theriault puts in, no matter what day it is.

“I remember on Christmas Eve morning one time, I saw him in shorts, an underarmour shirt and a Santa Claus hat running through my neighborhood,” Pauletto said. “He does a ton of extra training to stay in shape.”

The offseason is no offseason by any means for Theriault. According to Theriault, with the team working hard in the offseason, the improvement is evident in their times.

“We gradually build up our mile times throughout the seasons,” Theriault said.

Pauletto and his teammates also admire Theriault’s ability and the examples he sets for other runners on the team.

“He’s like the golden standard of cross country,” Pauletto said. “Everyone strives to be like [Theriault] when they first start out, and his performance really rallies the team together.”

Theriault’s goal is to run in college and further into the future.

“I currently plan to, that would be the dream.” Theriault said.

For now, Theriault will continue to help the South’s track and cross country teams.

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