Runner overcomes injury to win 1600, 3200 races

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Albuquerque Academy Charger Jordan Lesansee leads the 5A boys 3200-meter run at the University of New Mexico stadium in Albuquerque May 13. Lesansee won the race in 9:31.16. He also claimed the 1600 with a time of 4:19:08.


About six months ago nothing guaranteed Jordan Lesansee a spot on the podium.

Sure, he had just won the Class 5A boys state cross-country title and led his team to a collective win, but he was faced with an injury that no runner wants.

“I got an Achilles problem so I had to sit out about a month,” he said. “I didn’t get running until the season actually started. Usually I would build up my mileage. I had a slow start, but all glory to God for bringing me this far.”

Against the odds, Lesansee ended up on the podium at the 2017 NMAA State Track and Field Championships.

Lesansee, Zuni and Jemez, placed first in the 1600-meter and the 3200-meter runs, defending both titles he earned last year.

He also helped the Albuquerque Academy track and field team to another Class 5A state title.

After the 1600-meter run, Lesansee said uncertainty lingered over his injury.

“You can never guess how it’s going to go,” he said. “It’s something else coming to state. I had a lot of doubts but I just kept my head in and with the help of my parents, my faith, and my teammates I was able to pull through.”

Lesansee started the race with a small lead that he extended with each lap. He focused on the future but also what was behind him.

Kirtland Central sophomore Kashon Harrison ran at the heels of Lesansee for a lap or two before Lesansee made his kick.

Lesansee said competitors like Harrison helped his success.

“When you’re leading you always think somebody’s right there,” he said. “But it’s great for the sport to have some runner right there to make you competitive, especially for the Native community, for Native America to have some great talent.”

Lesansee finished in 4:19.08, about six seconds faster than Harrison.

“I always get confidence just from the work we put in,” he said. “My teammates and I are always just trying to push each other and get the best out of each other.”

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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.