When Jordan Lesansee laced up his shoes in preparation for the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regionals, he knew the competition would be tough and he would have his hands full.
Coming off his New Mexico Class 5A cross-country championship, a well-focused Lesansee turned in a stellar performance.
Lesansee finished sixth place, touring the 5K-course in 15:22 at the Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona. The Championship race featured 229 runners from throughout the Southwest.
“After completing my race, I had a great feeling about my performance,” said Lesansee, who is Jemez Pueblo and Zuni Pueblo. “I am very happy with my sixth place finish, considering the tough and talented competition.”
Lesansee said he did not run with the lead pack for the first mile. He said he was approximately in 30th place after the first mile.
“I ran conservatively at the beginning of the race,” said Lesansee, a senior at Albuquerque Academy. “I didn’t want to burn myself out. I began working my way up toward the lead pack. The pace was fast. The last half-mile was a grueling pace. Everyone began their kick. I kept up with the lead pack. There were three runners from American Fork, Utah who kicked it in, finishing as the top three.”
Since the end of the high school cross-country season on Nov. 5, Lensansee said he continued working out in preparation for the Southwest Regionals race.
“We have a club team that competed in the Southwest Regionals,” he said. “We trained together and that really helped me out.”
By finishing sixth place, Lesansee earned an all-expense paid trip to this Saturday’s Nike Cross National Championships in Portland, Oregon.
“I am preparing for the National Championships,” he said. “From our club, I am the only runner that continues to workout. My club teammates have been helping me with my workouts. I had a club teammate ride his bike pacing me. Nike is taking care of me on my trip to the National Championships.”