The Mentalist

SALEM,Ore.– In sports, it could come down to the mental aspect of the game as much as the physical aspect of the sport that you are partaking in.

Entering the Meet of Champions as an eighth-grader with Judson Middle School, Jordan Koskondy had strained her left quadricep entering the big meet that was to come. Physically, she wasn’t 100-percent; but mentally, she was as she went through her warm-up and routine.

“On the day of the middle school MOC, I was mentally prepared but I didn’t feel the same physically. Still, I went through my warm-up and routine of staying calm and getting my head in the game,” said Koskondy. “Going In the first half of the meet my body was amped up and pumped full of adrenaline ready for what was about to come next. Until it did and I didn’t feel as good as I was from before. In my head I was very thankful that finals were the same day and all I had left was the 100m and 4×100.”

She finished eighth in the 100-meters that day and helped the 4×100 team as the anchor to the City Championship and the team setting the meet record at 52. 17. She finished eighth in the Long Jump and 13th in the 200 meters in the meet as well.

It was a mental battle going through the races, foam-rolling when she can do to make sure she was as ready as she could be entering each event.

“When it was time to start and everyone was in their blocks, I had a feeling that what I was about to do, in the end I wouldn’t be satisfied with the results. But constantly told myself “if I don’t feel good now, I’ll finish strong and feel better later”,” said Koskondy.

“At the end of the day, I was proud of myself for not scratching an event and bringing what I could out there knowing I wasn’t at my best. The overall experience I had on competing that day was to keep a note at the back of the head to remind myself that all of what happened that day could happen again in the future.”

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Koskondy battled through an strained left quadricep muscle as she competed in the State, Regional and National level in the Summer of 2019 (Photo Provided By Valley Track Club)

Through recovery, still battling the bad quadriceps over the summer, Koskondy prepared for her freshman year at North Salem High School competing with the Valley Track Club. Though still recovering, the then soon-to-be freshman came within .001 of a second in qualifying for the USATF Junior Olympic National race in the 100-meter dash. She finished with a PR of 13.21, good for sixth in the USATF Region 13 JO Championships Regional race that day.

But Koskondy finished fifth in the Shot Put and Discus to qualify for the National race, PR-in in Shot with a toss of 34-feet-7.75-inches. It was the first-time she ever threw either event, something she only had four days of practice with leading into the USATF JO Oregon State Meet the meet prior to qualify for the regional event.

Jordan spent just two weeks learning discus and shot put before she competed at the USATF state meet. Her athleticism and coachable attitude made all the difference in her progress and ultimate success at nationals after only six weeks of dedicated throws training,” said VTC and North Salem Throws Coach Beth Dougherty.

Jordan has uncovered her passion for track and has embraced the daily efforts it takes to excel in this sport. She spends several days a week working with her strength and conditioning coach, and isn’t taking the loss of a regular season this year as time off from training. There is no doubt in my mind that Jordan will be a top name in the conference and division next season. I am just excited to see all of the hard work pay off next spring!

Koskondy finished 29th in the shot put at the National level, finishing a foot off her PR while PR-ing in discus (92-feet-10.5-inches) where she finished 15th in the Nation in the event.

Moving into her freshman year as a Viking, Koskondy anchored the North Salem 200-yard medley relay team that qualified for the 5A State Meet. The squad finished ninth in the State with a time of 2:05.05. For Koskondy, it was a chance of pace going from the track to the pool. She changed up her mindset for the challenges that were in-front of her compete not just in the pool, but at the High School level.

“My body wasn’t used to being in the pool again after so long and I had to have a different mindset to practice and compete. Because like track meets, swimming can sometimes take up more time than you think. In the end I ended up meeting new people and learning which new strengths and weaknesses that I didn’t realize I had during track,” said Koskondy.

“From the start of the school year, through swim and spring just inching its way closer I couldn’t even tell you how excited I was. After I went through rehab and took my time to heal up again I was more than ready to put on my spikes and rep my school. Every challenge I have during practice or in the weight room pushes me farther than I thought I could go. It gave me the extra length that I needed to bring more to the table.”

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Koskondy, who threw shot put the first time last summer, reached the National level in Sacramento. It is expected that Koskondy will be throwing at

During the Spring, healthy and ready to go, Koskondy was training with Maliyah Thompson in the sprints. Thompson was coming off of State Runner-Up finishes in the 100- and 200-meter races, won the 100-meter hurdles and was the third-leg in the 4×100 meter relay squad that won State in 2019. Koskondy was also working with Dougherty in the throws in preparations to help North Salem make a run at the repeat State Championships. Then, the Coronavirus hit, canceling the season and leaving the freshman and her teammates stunned.

“When the news of the track being canceled didn’t really hit me at first, because every day I was looking forward to practice and all the other practices leading up to a day filled with more competition,” starts Koskondy. “I remember the day the actual day of hearing everything was off the table from the head coach calling me and, in my head, I thought it was a hoax, and that they’ll just call it off. But as days passed and the same updates of the season being gone put me in a bummed mood.”

Now it’s a new kind of a mental game. Mental game in that she needs to push herself forward and continue to challenge herself in more ways than ever. Taking advantage of this golden opportunity to improve on her craft entering her sophomore year during this downtime that Koskondy now has.

“Even though the season was canceled, I put my thoughts forward and concentrated on track for next year. I’ll admit some days when it’s time to practice and lift I wouldn’t always be as pumped as I was the day before. But when it’s time to go and practice, it’s an opportunity after the next to fix what I didn’t do so well the day before or learn something new that would help me in the future,” said Koskondy. “On my time off I’ll of course be spending my free time doing what I would do on weekends, but I’ll still be in the weight room and I will still be on a track running. I’m not continuously going back, to the track and gym, because I have to but because I want to. It’s the routine of the sport, that pulls me back and keeps me wanting to achieve and do more.

“One of my main goals at north is to keep Improving every meet by consistently working hard to set new PR’s. While helping my team complete at the highest level and repeat as state champions.”

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