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Holladay Journal

With star power, Olympus cross country achieving big success

Oct 12, 2023 11:17AM ● By Josh McFadden

Olympus cross country starts JoJo Jourdon and Adria Favero after an unprecedented sweep of the Bob Forman XC Elite Races. (Photo courtesy of Christophe Humbert)

As a first-year coach of the Olympus cross country team, Christophe Humbert knew this season could pose some challenges. It’s a good thing he has some outstanding runners on the squad. 

The Titans boast whom Humbert calls “two of the best athletes in the entire country” in senior JoJo Jourdon and freshman Adria Favero. The pair has helped the Titans score some big wins and become a force in every race. 

“The learning curve has been steep, but I am super excited and happy with our season,” he said. “We have athletes of all speeds, getting faster week by week, and everyone is having a great time. My goals were to grow the team, which we accomplished, and we hope to grow again next year. I wanted to be able to improve all our athletes, which I feel we've accomplished. I wanted to be sure our very best athletes also had the support they needed to excel at their very elite level, which I feel they are doing.”

Jourdon is a blazing-fast runner who broke the 14-minute mark in the 3-mile race. His time of 13:587 came at the Woodbridge Invitational in California against some of the best runners in the nation. Meanwhile, Favero has shown what a bright future she has. The ninth grader has won four of the five races she has raced this season, including the prestigious Timpanogos Invite, which is the biggest meet in the state. For her efforts, she was named Larry H. Miller Athlete of the Week. She also won the Bob Firman XC Invitational in Boise, Idaho, which is one of the largest meets in the country. 

“[Jourdon] and [Favero] are truly exceptional, great talents,” Humbert said.

Another freshman girl, Sophie Wrona, won her first-ever meet this season on the JV team. Other top athletes on the team include Sofi Jourdon, Audrey Edwards, Eleanor Delaney, Kyle Berkson, Dillon Elliot and Brenen Elliot. There is also a long list of runners that Humbert said have improved the most throughout the season. He mentioned Hannah Snow, Crew Ashton, Ali Hansen, Logan Robbins, Whitney Fisher, Mark Marriott, Grant Marriott, Isaac Lofgren, Lilee Ferguson, Jainee Ferguson, Leila Lopez, Laia Barrat, Kaily Truon, Reilly Truong, Lydia Hall and Summer Hansen as those who have made big progress. 

“Olympus High School’s team strengths have been our depth—considering the overall size of our team—our team unity and our consistent work ethic,” Humbert said. 

Indeed, the Titans don’t have the size of team that other school have. A total of 58 runners are on the squad. The Titans have also dealt with some injuries, including one to Brenen Elliot, who should be back for state competition. There were also some unforeseen transportation issues, including one where the team’s charter bus canceled hours before the Titans were supposed to travel to Boise for a big meet. Luckily, Skyline High School’s cross country team came to the rescue, helping Olympus to get to the race. Humbert’s wife also rented three minivans to assist with the travel. 

Overall, Humbert said his first season has been a memorable one so far. 

“Our ridiculous success at the Bob Firman XC Invitational in Boise will never be forgotten,” he said. “Being blessed with two of the very best cross country athletes in the nation at the same time is once-in-lifetime stuff. Seeing athletes smile and have a great time, whether it's cheering on their teammates or singing wildly to Taylor Swift and Disney songs, was so much fun. These are great kids, talented athletes and inspirational students. I’m very fortunate.”

Humbert also said he is eager to take the team to the next level and see the program become even stronger. 

“Anyone and everyone is invited to join our team,” he said. “We have a lot of fun, race hard and want to grow the team. Please join us next year at Olympus High School.” λ