Jordan Lanning Keeps Her Cool To Claim Heptathlon Title


Just keep your composure. 

Jordan Lanning stood on the starting line of the final event of the Heptathlon - the 800 - with one simple task: just hold it together. 

The Bayfield senior entered the 800 with a lead just over 200 points, meaning that her lead was secure, sort of

While temperatures soared near 90 degrees and the beaming sun took no prisoners - sunburns were plentiful trackside - Lanning leaned forward as the starter held up his gun, and did exactly what she had over the previous 28 hours: kept her composure. 

When the gun shot out it was clear that this race - this final event - would come down to keeping track of everyone around her. She couldn't let anyone get too far ahead, and likewise, she couldn't fall too far behind. 

A lap into the race and Lanning cruised near the back. Meanwhile up ahead everyone was chasing her.

Oh, the irony.

While nearly every heptathlete was finally emptying out their gas tanks after hoarding and spending energy like pennies over the previous day and a half, Lanning did the same. 

Just keep your composure. 

Heading into the backstretch that feels more like an uphill battle at high(er) altitudes, Lanning bore down. She battled to maintain her position, which would be enough to secure a victory. 

But no lead is safe, particularly when you're in the chase. 

Bodies came flying across the finish line just over a half minute later and when Lanning crossed there was no celebratory cheer - not yet. There was waiting. There was hoping. And there were nerves ready to flare to surface. 

Was it enough?

When the times scrolled across the scoreboard that was perched high overhead, there was an exhale - relief.

Lanning tallied 4,870 points to win the event by 253 points over Madelyn McCabe. Lanning claimed big wins in the 100H, running 14.93, and the high jump, where jumped to a personal best of 5-10. The event that nearly sealed the deal for her was the javelin, where she finished second in 115-2.

Fabiola Belibi was the second Coloradan in the event, taking seventh with 4,079 points, while Riley Negrey and Elise Gillett finished 21st, and 23rd, tallying 3,261 points, and 3,256.

It took all seven events to determine the champion of the 2019 Great Southwest Classic Heptathlon, and when the winner was crowned, it was Lanning with the flowers in her hand, nearly too tired to celebrate, but satisfied enough to smile. 

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