Talented trio joins Project Triple Jump for 2018-19

by Steve Underwood

The NSAF’s Project Triple Jump, launched by the Foundation in 2011, is thrilled to welcome three newcomers to its ranks for the upcoming school year. Jadan Hanson (Uniondale, NY *junior), Orsciana Beard (Zachary, LA *sophomore) and Jordan Hardy (Hampton, VA *sophomore) are three of the brightest rising prep jumpers in the country – and, incidentally, are each coming off personal-record, runner-up finishes in their respective state meets as freshmen or sophomores.

(* -- Class for 2018-19)

These talented student-athletes join five returnees – India Turk, Nick Drayden, Ty Trinh, Malcolm Clemens and Riley Burger – to complete the Project’s roster of eight for 2018-19. Meanwhile, the Project has graduated a trio of outstanding “veterans” to the collegiate ranks: Titiana Marsh, Saudia James-Heard and Allyson Weiss.

The first Project clinic of the year will again be held with our partners from Sanford Sports Science Institute on their outstanding campus in Sioux Falls, S.D., August 9-12. The season will include 2-3 additional clinics, with details forthcoming in the weeks soon ahead.

Here’s a closer look at the three Project Triple Jump newcomers:

Jadan Hanson

With his stunning wind-legal 49-3.25(+2.0w) leap, Jadan Hanson not only confirmed talent shown earlier in the season and earned the runner-up spot in the New York state D1 triple jump behind Jeremiah Willis – but he also established himself as the #1 sophomore in the country. Hanson hit that mark on his 4th attempt of a series that included two other bounds beyond 48 feet. His previous PR had been 48-7(nwi) at the St. Anthony’s Invite a month earlier. A week later, he finished 10th in his first NBNO triple jump at 48-1.5.

Hanson had also produced a breakthrough performance at the NY state indoor meet in March – hitting 47 feet for the first time (47-0.25) to place 3rd, then took 13th with 46-8.25 at NBNI. The previous spring, his first season triple jumping for Uniondale, Hanson leapt 43-5 during the regular season, but then exploded to 46-5 in his AAU Regional qualifier – ranking him #2 among 9th graders for 2017. A month later, he was 3rd at AAU JO nationals in the 15-16 age group. Hanson’s PRs also include 6-4 in the high jump and 20-6.75 in the long jump.

Jordan Hardy

Jordan Hardy also had a huge breakthrough inside the pressure of a state meet, leaping a jaw-dropping 40-5 in the Virginia 5A championships to break by 18 inches a PR she had set early in the indoor season (38-11) – and take the runner-up spot on the state podium. The performance also elevated her to #2 among the nation’s freshmen, just an inch behind the leader. Two weeks later, Hardy showed 40 feet was no fluke by winning the NBNO freshman TJ at 40-1, and she recently won her USATF JO region meet at 39-6.75.

Hardy showed talent in the triple jump as an 8th-grader, jumping 38-2.5 in a small meet at Norfolk Academy. Then early in her freshman year at Hampton this past winter, she hit that aforementioned 38-11 at the Holiday Classic in Lynchburg (#3 freshman nationally). That proved a tough performance to top, but she was still 2nd at the state indoor 5A TJ (37-1) and 5th in the Emerging Elite TJ at NBNI (38-0). Then her outdoor season saw her consistently in the 37s with 1st- and 2nd-place finishes before the monster state meet. Hardy also has an 18-10 long jump PR and is a solid sprinter and hurdler for Hampton.

Orsciana Beard

Orsciana Beard’s state meet PR brought her tantalizingly close to the big four-oh: A 39-11.75 (+1.0w) leap that was just an inch-and-a-half away from Leah Scott’s (Dutchtown) winning Louisiana 5A championship performance – and ranked her #4 among the nation’s 9th graders for 2018. That topped the 39-7.5 she marked in finishing 2nd in her Region II meet. After state, Beard had an off-day a month later at Great Southwest, but bounced back well at NBNO with a 39-4.5 effort – second in the Emerging Elite TJ to future teammate Riley Burger. Beard had started her first prep outdoor season back in March with a stunning 39-3.5 victory in the West Feliciana Saints Relays, then continued to win with jumps mostly in the 37s and 38s before that region meet.

Beard’s inaugural prep indoor campaign was impressive, as well, with a 37-5.25 debut in the LSU Classic, a 38-2 undercover best (#6 freshman nationally) in the McNeese Indoor II, and finally a 37-11 state title performance in the LHSAA D1 championships – beating the same Leah Scott who would flip the script outdoors. Beard has also excelled in the hurdles: Indoors, she won the D1 crown with a 9.35 over 60H, while outdoors she was a close runner-up over the 100H in 15.06. She also ran 48.44 for 300H.

Note: This story will be updated with capsule profiles of returning and graduating Project athletes after the completion of both Junior Olympic national meets.

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