Hillsborough runner shines with help from dad - FOX 13 News

Hillsborough runner shines with help from dad

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

From a self-proclaimed "bookworm" to national track treasure: In just four years, Hillsborough High's Jorain Ordway has become Hillsborough County's fastest 400-meter runner -- the only high school girl ever to turn a lap in 54 seconds.

"Oh wow, that's cool, yeah," said Jorian. "It's kind of weird because you don't think of yourself that way."

"It just sounds better when you just say, 'Of all-time,'" said Jonathan Ordway, Jorian's father. "There's been a lot of fast people at this school. So when you say it. At the time and the moment I probably didn't realize the magnitude. I'm like, wow."

It takes a lot to impress Jorian's dad, a former professional football player who now trains some of the world's greatest professional athletes. A valuable asset for sure, but for Jonathan, Jorian turned out to be a tough client to land. She didn't ask for his help until a year ago.

"For one, I never wanted to be the pushy parent," said Jonathan. "I'm Dad, so she listens very little to what I say."

"Actually it's very helpful, said Jorian. "He's able to run with me for my time. To be a pacer for me. So, it's easier to hit my times in practice. If you have someone who can run with you, but they are ahead of you, so you can try to catch them."

Jorian could have gone to any college in the country with a weighted GPA well over 6.0. She decided on Kent State in Ohio, where she has a full ride with an academic and athletic scholarship.

"I like the coaches," said Jorian. "I like the atmosphere. I like the team. They've won the past eight conference titles. So I can fit in well. I can see myself going there."

Nationals are next in line. Then comes college with new list of goals.

"Possible an NCAA title," said Jorian. "If, by the grace of God, I can qualify and make the Olympic trials, then of course it's always a dream."

Dad's dream for his daughter is for Jorian to just enjoy the journey.

"Whatever she wants to do, I'm all for it," said Jonathan. "It's a tough life as a professional athlete. If that's what she wants, I'll do anything I can to help her facilitate that. I'd be ecstatic, but my main thing I just want her to be happy."

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