Jordan Downs, originally from Merrillville, Ind., transferred to Bethel from Vincennes University two years ago, and has been making headlines for the Pilots ever since.
He holds the Bethel record for indoor and outdoor long jump, multiple individual national championships in long jump and pole vault, and was named USATF Field Athlete of the Year for 2019 in May, among other accomplishments. He competed at the USATF Indoor Championships, the ultimate USA Track & Field national event of the indoor season, and beat out 15 collegiate, post-collegiate and professional athletes to win the long jump event with a mark of 7.73 m. (his personal record is 7.96 m.).
“When you win any type of national championships, you take it in [for] one day, but you always want to do better,” Downs says. “You put 110 percent out there on the track and in practice, and know the team’s behind you.”
Downs has appreciated the family atmosphere of Bethel’s Track & Field team, noting that the coaches are quick to recognize all athletes, not just the ones who are most successful. And, that their identity ultimately comes from who they are in Christ.
“Any ability you have … that’s from God! You should go out there and use that,” he says.
As a Sports Studies major, Downs has spent a fair amount of time in the training room, and plans to pursue a career in athletic training or massage therapy at the collegiate level. But first, he looks to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in China.