Rain or shine, Montesano’s Jordan Spradlin is one of the most dominant three-sport female athletes Grays Harbor has ever seen. Now she will go from the rain of the Pacific Northwest to the sunshine of Arizona.
On Wednesday, Spradlin signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Arizona to compete in Track and Field.
“It is a great honor to be able to continue my favorite sport at the collegiate level,” Spradlin said. “I just love track. Ever since the beginning of high school it has become my favorite. I don’t know what it is about it. Maybe it’s that you get out what you put in, but it has always been my favorite.”
The Bulldog senior has showed next-level talent from early on in her throwing career at Montesano. Spradlin finished third at the 1A state meet in the discus and shot put as a freshman and won state in both events as a sophomore and junior. In the shot put — her favorite event — Spradlin added seven feet in distance from her freshman year to junior year to record a throw of 48-4 last season.
Her distances throughout her career have made throwing coaches around the country, especially around the Pac-12 Conference, take notice. Spradlin narrowed her college choice to Arizona, Oregon State and Washington before finally selecting on the Wildcats.
“I went down for my visit there and I just fell in love with (the school),” Spradlin said. “Tucson was one of the best college towns I’ve been to. It is a bigger town, but it didn’t seem like a bigger town and that was nice, especially coming from Montesano. I got to meet a lot of the athletes and I got along with them great. The facilities they have are great and the academics goes along with what I want to do. It is kind of everything was falling into place and you had that feeling that ‘Yeah, this is where I’m going to end up for the next four or five years.’”
The coaching staff at Arizona played into Spradlin’s decision with T.J. Crater taking over as throwing coach for the Wildcats last season. Spradlin has attended the Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp each summer since she was a freshman. Her first time attending the camp, Crater took notice of her ability and began working with her at the camp. At the time, Crater was at Washington. But when he was hired at Arizona, he began working to convince Spradlin to become a Wildcat.
Spradlin showed potential as an athlete very early on in life. She was the tallest kid in her preschool class and her pediatrician measured her to be in the 140th percentile, possibly taller than 6-foot tall in the future. Now standing 6-foot-1, Spradlin towers over her female teammates, but her throws have towered over her opponents as well.
“(The pediatrician) said ‘she is going to be a tall, big girl and the best thing you can do for her is to get her in a tumbling class or anything that will develop her athletically,’” Spradlin’s mother Dana Pugh said. “She was clumsy. She would stand there and then fall over. She was in a tumbling class. We got her into swim lessons early. She was always active and always developing. She wasn’t that gangling young girl. She was always fairly physical and fairly coordinated.
Spradlin continued to grow as an athlete. When she first stepped into the throwing circle for a track meet as a seventh grader, she found her niche. Then-Montesano thrower and recent USC graduate Tera Novy took notice of Spradlin and made a quick comment that if she kept up the hard work, she could top the school records that Novy set as a Bulldog.
Spradlin took the comment from Novy as inspiration and her throw of 48-4 at state earlier this year bested Novy’s WIAA meet record of 48 feet from 2012.
In addition to powering the Bulldog volleyball and girls basketball teams to the postseason throughout her career, Spradlin made noise at the national level when she attended the USA Track &Field Junior Olympics in Sacramento, California in July. In the 17-18 Women’s Division, Spradlin won the discus and took second in the shot put.
Now Spradlin, who plans to study physiology, will see how far she can push her body to get on the podium at the college level.
“The small town people never get as much notice, so it is especially an honor when you come from such a small school because you feel like you had to work a little harder to get noticed,” Spradlin said. “It is starting to sink in, but it isn’t fully there. It is like ‘Wow, I’m going to go all the way down there to play at a big school,’ and that is always everybody’s dream.”