Top runner chosen to attend Nike nationals


Anne Rogers

Seniors Jordyn Kleve and Sandra Kromminga, along with junior Sara Ness hold up their state champion trophy after winning the state meet Nov. 1. This is the first state title in the girls’ cross country history. Kleve ran a time of 14:14, which is the fastest in Johnston history.

Allexis Mahanna, Staff Writer

As senior Jordyn Kleve crossed the finish line at the state competition, she thought her cross country season was finished. Instead, the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams ran at the Nike regional race Nov. 9, and qualified for nationals there. Unlike most cross country runners, Kleve has extended her season.

Nike sponsors multiple regional meets across the country, and Iowa runners competed in the NXN Heartland Regional, located in Sioux City, South Dakota. The top five runners to finish from each regionals will go to the Nike nationals in Portland, Oregon, and the top two teams that qualify will also attend. This is Nike nationals’ 11th year, and this year it will take place at Glendoveer Golf Course. The 400 fastest high school runners from all over the country will compete on Dec. 6, running 3.1 miles.

Kleve has been breaking records throughout the regular season, and she has continued to do so in the post season. She is the first athlete to qualify for nationals from the high school. She ran the designated 3.1 miles in 17:39.3 seconds. “I just kind of went with my gut that day, and went with how I felt, and I was feeling pretty good, so I just went for it,” Kleve said.

Kleve finished sixth overall in the regionals race. However, one of the top five qualifiers was also a member of one of the two qualifying teams to go to nationals, so Kleve was the next chosen to attend nationals. This gives Kleve the opportunity to compete at Nike nationals.

Her training to prepare for success at nationals includes adding more miles to her workouts, and running with her teammates who continue pushing her until the end of her season.

Kleve’s teammates are proud of her hard work and success throughout the season, especially after this newest achievement. “We were all very proud of her,” junior Anna Toot, teammate of Kleve, said. “It’s a great way for her to end her career and I know she will run her best and do amazing at nationals.”