“Tracking” Jordyn Bunning’s success

Back to Article
Back to Article

“Tracking” Jordyn Bunning’s success

Bunning placed second for the 100-meter hurdle races at state in 2017. Her time was 14.62 seconds.

Bunning placed second for the 100-meter hurdle races at state in 2017. Her time was 14.62 seconds.

Bunning placed second for the 100-meter hurdle races at state in 2017. Her time was 14.62 seconds.

Bunning placed second for the 100-meter hurdle races at state in 2017. Her time was 14.62 seconds.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

With her heartbeat pounding and adrenaline pumping, she crouches down anxiously awaiting the shot. It rings with a pop, and everyone’s off. The familiar slap of trainers flying across the track, the wind racing in her ears with each jump and the cheering crowds are all white noise to her. She crosses the finish line. “Lane 1 is Jordyn Bunning of Vernon Hills!” Jordyn Bunning (12) had placed second in state for the 100-meter hurdles.

On Feb. 14, Bunning was selected as a member of the IHSA All-State Academic Team. The All-State Academic Team is comprised of 26 selected student athletes, 13 male and 13 female. She is the seventh student from VHHS to be selected, according to Dr. Guillaume.

This honor highlights who Bunning is as a person: A well-rounded student athlete who’s able to balance the school, extracurricular and social aspects of her life.

Bunning is well-known for her accomplishments in track. She’s been to state every year since sixth grade and made top nine for seven events.
Last year, Bunning won second place at state for two events: the 300-meter and 100-meter hurdles. It was a difficult season for her, as she was injured during indoor season and not hitting the times she was used to. However, her hard work paid off on the end with her back-to-back places at state.

“In between the 100-meter hurdle race and the 300-meter hurdle race, I didn’t have much time to celebrate, so I quickly took [the medal] off after and started preparing for my next race,” Bunning said. “Once the 300-meter hurdle race was done, I was really able to reflect on what had just happened in the last few hours, and I just couldn’t believe how well the day went. ”

In contrast to Bunning’s serious side, her friend and teammate Lauren Katz (12) mentioned a pre-meet routine that Bunning has.

“At every track meet over the last few years, Jordyn has sang a section of the song “When We Were Young” by Adele when she hits a very high note. Jordyn belts this high note out for everyone to hear, and most of the time, she will get confused and judgmental looks from the girls on the opposing teams. But, Jordyn does not care what others think as long as she’s making others laugh,” Katz said.

Her coaches also talked about how important Bunning is as a team member.

Bunning is “outgoing, dedicated and mature,” Mr. Proft, her relays and hurdles coach, said. “She has a great balance of working hard, being a great teammate, and most importantly having fun.”

Her commitment to succeed and welcoming nature make her stand out as a leader on her team, according to her coaches and teammates.

“She is a natural leader, which has developed further with each season,” Proft said. “She is one of the first people to encourage others during a practice or race and does a great job of bringing the other track groups together so it feels like one team.”

Bunning applies the same dedication and enthusiasm that she has for sports to school, as well. Mr. Clifford recalled having Bunning in his AP European History class and how her funny antics at the beginning of the period would get everyone happy and focused for the lesson.

“She’s a very positive presence in the class. One of the striking features that Jordyn has is her ability to lead others, even in the classroom. She’s always a passionate and studious student. Jordyn is a testament to what you can achieve if you stay committed and work hard at something,” Clifford said.

Although highly accomplished as an athlete, Bunning doesn’t solely focus on sports. Her education is very important to her.

“Sometimes, I will have to cut out something for track if it’s [for] school, because you’re a student athlete – you’re a student before you’re an athlete,” Bunning said. “You do have to make sacrifices.”

Frances Ferolo (12), one of her best friends, testified to how determined Bunning is as a student.

“Jordyn has always been very motivated. School has always been her priority and that has paid off. She will often stay in on a Friday or Saturday night so she can get work done,” Ferolo said.

Bunning has committed to Washington University in St. Louis, one of the best Division III track schools. She will be attending the Olin Business School and majoring in business. Some of the major deciding factors were their academics and athletics, speaking to her values as a student athlete.

Although a lot of Bunning’s success is due to her own drive and talent, she also recognizes that the people in her life have helped her get this far. The main factors being her “family, coaches and team.”

“The coaches I had freshman and sophomore year just had an amazing impact on me, and the coaches now are so great and passionate about the sport,” Bunning said. “[Another factor is] my team throughout the years, looking up to the juniors and seniors as a freshman, and thinking, ‘That’s who I want to be someday, as a leader and as an athlete.’”

Specifically, Bunning’s father has been present throughout her track seasons for motivation and support.

“My dad, since he’s really passionate about track, saw the love of track that I had and really went with that. He was just always there to support me, which is huge. My family likes to call him the ‘Track Dad’ because he knows every girl’s name, the times they run and what they’re doing, like a Dance Mom,” Bunning said.

Regardless of these outside influences, Bunning excelled due to her own drive and hard work. She serves as a role model for all student athletes with her positive mentality, passionate enthusiasm and developed talent.

“I’ve had a lot of people motivate me and put a good kind of pressure on me, but I put the most pressure on myself. People can push you in the classroom and in sports, but to really be excellent, I think you really need to have intrinsic motivation to achieve the things you want to achieve,” Bunning advised.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email