2016 Daily World Female Athlete of the Year: Jordan Spradlin

When Jordan Spradlin was young, her family’s pediatricians measured her to see how she would grow. They told her mother she was in the 140th percentile for her height. It was clear that she wasn’t going to just be average.

Fast forward to 2016 and Spradlin is far from average on the volleyball court, the basketball court and in the circle at track meets. She towers over her teammates and competitors at 6-foot-1, but she is also skilled.

The Montesano senior gives everything she has to push the shot a few more inches, grab another rebound and slam down every spike. In turn, 2016 was nowhere close to average for Spradlin. She started the year by leading the Bulldogs’ girls basketball team to the regional round for the third straight season. Then, she proceeded to win the shot put and discus state 1A titles and lead the volleyball team to state.

In the meantime, Spradlin signed to continue her track and field career at the University of Arizona and brought home a 4.0 grade point average on her report cards.

“She is always giving her best effort,” Montesano girls basketball head coach Julie Graves said. “In the off-season, I open the weight room for the girls in the summer and she is always making sure she gets a workout in almost every day that she is available. She puts in the time in the summer whether it is in the weight room or getting in extra shots. She finds a way to get better and she makes time. When nobody else is working, she is working.”

Her constant striving to be better has made her a standout in the athletic arena and the recipient of the The Daily World’s Female Athlete of the Year.

Spradlin began 2016 the same way she will end it, crashing the boards and pouring in around 20 points a game. The senior has started all four years as the post presence for the Bulldogs. While she often drew a double team during the 2015-16 campaign, she managed to finish the season averaging 20.3 points per game and pulling down an average of 14.8 rebounds a game.

Spradlin helped power the Bulldogs to a third-place finish at the District IV tournament and a berth into the regional round. While the regionals were met with the same frustrating finish with Monte losing, 54-39, to Granger, Spradlin earned several individual accolades, including Evergreen 2A/1A League MVP and a spot on the 1A all-state roster.

Spring brought another track season and another trip to the top of the podium at the Class 1A state track meet. After edging past all of her opponents distances during the season, Spradlin set her sights on the record books for the district and state meets. She had finished third in the discus and shot put as a freshman and won both events as a sophomore. As a junior last year, she pushed herself a step farther and added seven feet of distance to her shot put throw to record a 48-8 mark, a distance that topped her own school record and bested the state 1A meet record set by Montesano’s Tera Novy in 2012.

She even came back later in the day and launched a 134-8 throw in the discus to take another medal home.

Track has become a real labor of love for Spradlin and her enjoyment of besting her own marks and seeing improvement has led her to choose track for her sport at the next level. In the fall, Spradlin signed with the University of Arizona and will throw both shot put and discus at the collegiate level.

Even though she has inked her letter of intent, Spradlin was clear that she isn’t done striving for farther throws.

“I am always going to put pressure on myself,” Spradlin said earlier this year.

Even when the Montesano High School track was being resurfaced this year, Spradlin continued to push herself, traveling to Elma High School to get in throwing practice.

Her hard work during volleyball season was the catalyst for the Bulldogs reaching the state tournament. Montesano went 14-0 through the regular season before earning a trip to the SunDome in Yakima. The Bulldogs fell just short of a state trophy, but Spradlin was honored as the Evergreen 1A League MVP.

The two-time all-state selection is back to pulling down rebounds and rolling in layins again as the she has helped the Bulldogs jump out to an 8-2 record. The senior has a focus on the state trophy the Bulldogs have fallen just short of reaching each of the last four seasons. On Wednesday, she scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Lynden.

No matter what she accomplishes in the future, the past 12 months were worth remembering for Spradlin.

“It has been a joy to coach her,” Graves said. “Even back to the fourth grade, she was a kid who was willing to put in the time to get better and wanted to get better from a young age. She has never wanted to be average at anything she does.”

2016 Daily World Female Athlete of the Year: Jordan Spradlin