Column: Jordan Coleman on pace to take his spot among elite sprinters

Sometimes patience is required to experience your moment of ecstasy, and Granada Hills sprinter Jordan Coleman has kept quiet, focused and biding his time while waiting for his opportunity to show he belongs among the elite in track and field this season.

He was suffering from leg soreness after completing the indoor season. It forced him to sit out the Arcadia Invitational, something in which he had badly wanted to participate. He could have run but made the decision he wanted to be certain he was healthy to prevent a more serious injury.

“It’s kind of difficult to have to watch, but I like to think during the recovering process I will have more motivation and fuel in the tank to have amazing times,” he said several weeks ago.

Coleman made his outdoor debut last week in the 4x100 relay during a dual meet against El Camino Real. He and teammates Justin Hart, Timothy Wyatt and Kayne Martin recorded a state-best time of 40.29 seconds, fifth best in state history. Coleman ran the second leg and you could see his power and explosiveness in the back stretch.

Then he ran the 100 in 10.88 seconds with a strong wind in his face. It was his fastest time starting a track season and another hint he’ll be faster than last year when he ran a 10.36.

“I’m more than excited to run my events and show everyone the training I’ve put in,” he said.

Coleman and the Granada Hills relay team get their first big test this weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays when taking on other top teams. They’ll get a feel for the competition at next month's state championships.

Coleman was overshadowed last season by Granada Hills' 200 and 400 standout Dijon Stanley, who moved on to play football at Utah.

Coleman is 5 feet 10, 170 pounds and committed to reach peak form and put on a show when the City Section and state championships take place.

“I definitely think I’m faster, especially after running 6.72 indoors,” he said of his 60-meter time. “I can’t wait to finally show it.”

It remains to be seen whether the 100 or 200 is his best event.

“The 100 has more attention to it and more of an adrenaline rush and you have all the fastest people, but personally I love running a curve,” he said. “I’ve always been a 200 runner. The 100 has its perks.”

Granada Hills’ 4x100 relay team last season set a City Section record and ran a best time of 40.28. The fact this year’s relay team has already run 40.29 with just one day of practicing baton exchanges gives Coleman confidence another record could be coming.

“We were something special last year and I think we can be special again,” he said.

Coleman’s development in high school has him pinching himself. He never knew he had the ability to run this fast or go to college to be a track athlete.

He has committed to Harvard.

“When I was really young, I never thought I would have the chance,” he said. “I knew I wanted to make track a career my junior year, I realized I had the potential to go to a D1 school.”

Then Harvard came calling.

“I was in disbelief. There's no way they want me,” he said. "When I realized it was real, it was, ‘I’m making it for my future.’”

Coleman has already shown the kind of patience needed to succeed. Too many times severe injuries happen when athletes don’t recognize the signs that they need to stop and take time to heal.

Now he’s ready to let everyone know just how fast he can run.

“I'll be prepared to take on anything that comes my way,” he said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.