By Richard Greene
Laboring toward the finish line, Alvord’s Jordan Ward cleared the final hurdle of her track career Friday night and claimed her fourth gold medal.
Ward held off Rogers’ Lauren Bedrich to win the Class 2A 300 hurdles at the University Interscholastic League’s track and field championships at Mike Myers Stadium.
“That one was tough, very tough,” Ward said. “But I came out with my best time, so I was pleased.”
Ward admitted that was almost out of gas as she crossed the finish line.
“That lean was very hard,” she said. “I almost fell. But that’s what you are supposed to do.”
The victory gave her a sweep of the Class 2A hurdle races for the second straight year. It was also Ward’s fourth state medal in the event. She took bronze as a freshman and silver as a sophomore. She won the race last year as junior.
“It’s awesome,” Ward said about the fourth gold medal. “I’m so blessed. Everyone has been so supportive. Even people that I don’t know have been writing me letters and wishing me good luck.
“I’ve had awesome coaches, family, and town supporting me. The whole town has been behind me — the whole county really. It’s been awesome. I’m definitely going to miss it.”
From the starting gun, Ward looked determined to bring home the gold. Out of lane five, she beat the field to the first hurdle and held a sizeable lead through the curve.
Bedrich started to pull Ward in over the final hurdles, but couldn’t catch her.
“I knew where everyone was,” Ward said. “In the 300 hurdles, I’m more aware and know where the other girls are.”