MEDINA — Da’One Jordan has always set his goals high.
So when it came to picking a college, the recent Medina graduate had his sights set on dominating the Big Ten or even competing at historic Hayward Field for Oregon.
But Jordan realized he wanted a little bit more than the bright lights of a big Division I school.
“I really thought at first I wanted to go D-I or Big Ten,” he said. “After touring a few schools, I realized that was not really who I am. I felt I would get lost in the day-to-day and, if I wasn’t great, then I wouldn’t be anybody.”
Jordan found what he was looking for at Kent State. After the long-winded search that included trips to Oregon, Iowa, Ohio State and even the Naval Academy, the All-Gazette standout eventually narrowed his decision to the Golden Flashes and Ashland, an upper-tier D-II program.
He didn’t make it alone.
With the help of friend and Medina teammate Jake Wickey, who already had committed to Kent State, Jordan was able to come to his final verdict.
“(Wickey’s) parents asked him where he would be more happy if he became injured and wasn’t able to play sports. This helped me make my decision,” said Jordan, who will be a preferred walk-on. “I loved Ashland, but I was afraid I would not have loved it without track.
“Of all the schools I toured, Kent really felt like home. I wanted a big school, but close to home.”
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Jordan is coming off of the best season of his career, earning D-I state berths in the long jump and as a member of the 4x400-meter relay.
While the relay came up 0.74 seconds short of the final, Jordan was 12th in the long jump. Jordan, who broke the school long jump record with 22 feet, 4¼ inches, also posted Medina County’s fastest 400 and was among the high jump leaders. He also was eighth in the long jump at the state indoor meet.
Now Jordan will take that success to the always-tough Mid-American Conference to help the Golden Flashes move higher in the standings.
“I want to be challenged, and this was something I was really looking for in a school,” Jordan said. “Don’t get me wrong. I love winning and standing on the podium, but I did not want to attend a university where I was the longest long jumper.
“I wanted to learn from those who are better than me and Kent has athletes that can challenge me to be better.”
The 19-year-old’s next decision will be what studies. While it took several miles in a car and nights of weighing the pros and cons to decide on what school he would attend, deciding on a major might be take some time as well.
“This is still up for debate,” Jordan said of his potential major. “I have declared a major in exercise science with the hopes of helping others one day achieve their dream in the sports world.
“When looking for a college at first, I had my mind set on D-I Big Ten and well, I have always had my mind set on exercise science, so there is probably a good chance this will change.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.