MAPLETON, Iowa – Jordyn Pester hadn’t even got her hands on the state runner-up team trophy before the seeds were planted for what her senior year could be.
The Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto/Charter Oak-Ute senior delivered on all of it as she harvested three gold medals in her three events at the Iowa State Track and Field Championships a couple of weeks ago. It was helped along by one of the few races she didn’t win at the state meet over the past two years.
“I remember last year we got second place and we are going to get our trophy and (MVAOCOU coach Scott) Breyfogle looked at me and JoHannah (McKibben) and said ‘We are going to 2A next year and we are going to win the sprint med,’” Pester said. “Not even being done with that year we knew that was a goal, and going up a class that was a big motivator too. You want to prove you are not just good for (Class) 1A, you are just good in general.”
Mission accomplished for Pester and her teammates as they went from finishing as the runner-up in the sprint medley her junior year to state champs this year. Pester would go on to win the 400 and 200 individual Class 2A titles to go 3-for-3 at state and earn the Journal’s Female Track Athlete of the Year award.
Pester repeated as the state champ in the 400 in a field that included defending 2A champion Lily Peterson of Alta/Aurelia in 56.63.
While the battle of the two defending champs never really materialized in Des Moines the prospect of a showdown served its purpose for Pester.
“We always get yelled at by our coaches for how much we look at Quik Stats, but you look on there and see what she is doing and comparing that to yourself,” Pester said. “You are thinking ‘OK was she running into the wind, was I running into the wind, was it raining, what were the conditions?’
“She did add a lot to my season. I would say she made be a better runner. Running against her at Westwood we both ran the sprint med which they beat us in and then turn around and run in the open (400) and I beat her. It was a lot of good, healthy competition that made us both better.”
A lot of time in the weight room and the help of Breyfogle helped Pester surprise herself with what she accomplished in the 200.
“I was in the weight room all summer and all winter since I don’t play basketball and it was constant running, constant training,” she said “I knew we wanted to win the sprint med, I know I wanted to win the 400, those were goals. The 200 was completely not expected at all. I was going in ranked third and I figured if I can finish top three that would be a pretty good weekend for me. Winning that was crazy. I would say I outdid my own expectations.”
Pester, who qualified for state all four years and transferred to MVAO from Charter Oak-Ute prior to her junior year, credited Morgan Todd for helping push her to become the runner she is now.
“Morgan was the stud, she was the horse and she took me under her wing from day one transferring from COU. She was my biggest mentor,” Pester said. “She showed me the type of leader I wanted to be for the team.”
Of all the questions Pester answered with her season, the future Wayne State College runner has one query that is a bit harder for her to give a definitive statement. Where does all that speed come from?
“My parents didn’t run track, my older sisters didn’t run track, my younger brother isn’t really a trackster, so I guess it just a random gift,” she said.