MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Jordan Charles will compete for the final time at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse this weekend after running one of the fastest 60-meter dashes in school history last weekend at Iowa State.
A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Charles ran 6.68 to win the ISU Classic – the performance ranks tied for second all-time at Minnesota (only Ibrahim Kabia has run faster) and is currently the top time in the Big Ten this year.
GopherSports.com caught up with Charles to talk about his recent win as well as his Gophers career.
First off, how and when did you get involved in track & field?
I started my freshman year of high school. I was always one of the faster guys in the sports I played – football, soccer and I guess hockey. I wanted to see how good I was at track, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
What made you decide to be a Gopher and compete for the University of Minnesota?
There were a lot of different reasons that made the ‘U’ a great fit for me. It was definitely a huge plus to be able to stay close to home. My sister came here, so I knew what to expect. And I’ve always been a huge Gophers fan in all sports. It was an exciting opportunity when the offer came in to come to the University of Minnesota, so I jumped at the chance.
Last weekend you ran one of the fastest 60-meter dashes in school history to win the ISU Classic and your time of 6.68 currently ranks first in the Big Ten this year. What was that experience like?
It was a shock for sure. Dropping a tenth of a second off your time in the 60-meter dash doesn’t usually happen like it did last week. Minnesota is a historic program, so to be in the top 10 even is an honor. It was always a goal and an accomplishment I wanted, but I never thought I’d be that high up the list.
Is it easy or difficult to compete in multiple events at one meet like you often do with sprints and the triple jump?
I’m used to it at this point, but it does require a lot of mental toughness. You have to be able to put whatever has happened earlier in the day or earlier in the weekend out of your mind and focus on what you are doing right now. It’s not always easy to do that, but it’s very important.
What does the future look like for you?
I’m really excited for the Athletes Village and the track & field team getting a new facility. As an alum, I can’t wait to come back and support our program and all the other programs here at the University of Minnesota. I’m excited to stay involved. Personally, I’m going to be an instructional designer at C.H. Robinson, so I’ll be creating training programs for employees there.
What’s something that people should know about you?
That’s a tough one. I would say that I have always tried to lead by example. I’m not a big spotlight guy – I shy away from it. I prefer to go about my business and work hard every day.
Quick Hits: Jordan Charles
Who Plays You in a Movie: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Favorite Gopher: Keita Cline
Smartest Teammate: Andrew Ajaluwa
Funniest Teammate: Nate Roese
Favorite Movie: Inception
Favorite Food: Enchiladas
Favorite Sports Moment: March Madness
Top Hobby: Video Games
Secret Talent: Playing Guitar
Gophers Claim Five Titles at Stanford
Meanwhile, four unattached Gopher freshmen picked up titles at Concordia-St. Paul’s Holst Invitational on Saturday at SeaFoam Stadium in St. Paul.
Harold Headlines Opening Day at Stanford
The Gophers also added three top-10 all-time performances on Friday from Mitch Hechsel, Luke May and Obsa Ali.
Minnesota Heads West for Cardinal Classic
The Cardinal Classic is a two-day meet (Friday-Saturday) set at Cobb Track and Angell Field while the Holst Invitational is scheduled for Saturday at SeaFoam Stadium.