Among Jordan Swarthout's interests, he'd tell you running is one of his favorites.
He was one of the best distance runners in Capital High School’s history, setting school records in the 3,200 meters in track and the 5,000 meters in cross country before graduating in 2006.
Now a senior at the University of Washington, Swarthout is running 75 miles a week during the cross country season. He’s been one of the Huskies’ top five runners since his sophomore year and usually has finished No. 4 or No. 5 for UW this season.
But in a sport where obsession is often an ingredient for success, Swarthout is not just a runner.
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“Running doesn’t define Jordan Swarthout,” UW coach Greg Metcalf said.
Indeed. Even in running at the Pacific-10 Conference level, Swarthout has maintained a balance, not letting the sport trump everything else. He’s a student first, an athlete second.
For example, rather than staying on campus running with teammates, he spent the past three summers doing internships in either Washington, D.C., or Russia, pursuing his real passion – international business. He’s a political science major.
“That’s not the perfect summer for training,” Metcalf said. “But what’s best when Jordan graduates? Going to Washington, D.C., and Russia have helped those goals.”
Swarthout arrived at UW as an invited walk-on and has developed into a contributor for the Huskies.
“Jordan has been very steady and consistent,” Metcalf said. “He’s a cerebral guy. He continues to make progress.”
Swarthout graduated from Capital with a 3.98 GPA and scored a perfect 800 on the writing portion of the SAT.
Last week, Swarthout was the UW’s fourth finisher at the Pre-Nationals meet at Indiana State. He ran 8,000 meters in 25 minutes, 28.9 seconds, placing him 156th and helping Washington place 26th.
Swarthout has competed in two NCAA national cross country championships, helping the Huskies finish 18th by placing 207th in 2009. In track last spring, Swarthout ran the 10,000 meters for the first time and ran a 29:27.88, less than a second from breaking into the school’s top-10 list and qualifying him for the NCAA West Regionals.
Swarthout has earned the nickname “Mr. November” for his knack for running personal-best times late in the season.
“That’s what he’s done,” Metcalf said. “Our goal is to always finish on an upswing. He’s always done that.”
Matt Epstein didn’t get the start he wanted. But the Saint Martin’s junior golfer certainly got the finish, shooting two under-par rounds to finish tied for first at the Chico Classic.
That earned Epstein the Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s golfer of the week award.
After opening with a 7-over-par 77, Epstein fired a 68 and 69 to finish with a three-round score of 214.
Epstein helped the Saints finish fifth out of 16 teams.
Central Washington’s football team moved into 15th place nationally in total defense after giving up just 210 total yards in its past two games, both shutouts.
Adam Bighill, a former all-state linebacker at Montesano, had 12 tackles in CWU’s 19-0 win against Western Oregon on Saturday in Seattle.
He led a Wildcats defense that limited Western Oregon, which was averaging 410 yards per game, to just 98 yards in total offense.
Bighill had three sacks and nine solo tackles, earning him defensive player of the week honors for the GNAC.
Central beat South Oregon, 27-0, the week before shutting out Western Oregon.
It’s the first time since 1986 that Central has had back-to-back shutouts.
Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 email@example.com www.theolympian.com/sports/blog