Following long jump victory a month ago at California Winter Outdoor Championships, two-sport standout seeks All-America honors in Boston in debut on national stage
By Landon Negri for DyeStat
Long-term success is never an accident. But there are occasions where the results of hard work might go in a different direction than first thought.
Such has been the case of JSerra High senior Josh Jornadal.
With one leap at the California Winter Outdoor Championship, he might have altered the trajectory of his sporting life.
Now, Jornadal will test his jumping talents for the first time on a national stage Sunday at the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship in Boston.
Jornadal won the long jump title at the Feb. 4 meet at Arcadia High, leaping a personal-best of 23 feet, 5.50 inches (7.15m).
That surpassed his previous best by a foot and firmly planted him as one of the top high school jumpers in the state, as 23-5.50 would have been good enough to make the podium at last year’s CIF State Championships.
And it’s early, but at the moment, he has the top long jump mark in California.
This from a student-athlete who didn’t make it out of the Trinity League Finals a year ago.
“I was possibly going to play football,” Jornadal said of his upcoming college plans, “but after that, I don’t think that’s an option anymore.”
Jornadal was JSerra’s leading receiver in the fall, catching 21 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. But with his newfound success in track and field, his future plans have become more fluid.
For a guy who feels like he excels on the big stage – perhaps that feeling came from the bright lights and big stadiums of football – this is an opportunity like he’s never had.
He feels like the stage is his. And maybe the stage is set. Only five athletes surpassed the 23-foot mark at New Balance Nationals Indoor last year, with two of them graduating. And just six of the 38 entries in the long jump championship have better performances this year than Jornadal.
“I love those last jumps, where you scratch those three and then you get the last one to put a number up there,” Jornadal said. “I like that scenario for me. I like being under pressure.”
His coach agrees. JSerra track and field coach Chase Frazier believes Jornadal will thrive at The TRACK at New Balance.
“I think for a guy like him,” Frazier said, “that’s a really good venue for him.”
Last spring, Jornadal had a difficult day…
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