May 20, 2009
By Honsen Lin
They've dominated the 400-meter dash at the collegiate level. They share the same first letter of their first names. UW senior sprinter Jordan Boase has been drawing comparisons to Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner ever since he burst onto the collegiate track scene.
"I have no problem being compared to him because he's pretty legit," Boase said. "You put me in the same sentence with him, that's definitely a compliment."
Boase, a one-time NCAA leader of the 400, hopes to one day run on the same Olympic stage that Wariner has graced twice.
He even came close in the summer of 2008.
"Last year was a disappointment because I had a stress fracture," Boase said of his experience at the Olympic trials. "By the time the trials came along, I was kind of banged up."
He ended up making the semifinals in the 400 before he was sidelined with a painful foot blister.
UW sprints coach Raul Sheen believes Boase's potential is unlimited.
"I definitely think he's one of those guys that'll be representing the United States on national teams," Sheen said. "He has that kind of talent and upside."
However, Boase wasn't always sure track was right for him.
"Track is a tough sport to do because the only way you can get better is to run," Boase said. "In other sports when you get in trouble, what do you do? You run. And we run every single day. It's like being punished every single day."
After his sophomore season, he was discouraged by the competition at the NCAA level.
"Growing up, I was used to being the best at everything," Boase said. "To come out and not be one of the best kind of just bugged me. It kind of frustrated me to come out here every single day and run and then feel like you're not getting any satisfaction out of it."
So, Boase took a year off to consider his options and realized he missed sprinting after all.
The redshirt year was not without benefits, though, as it allowed time for Boase to work out in a gym and get stronger, setting the stage for his breakout season the next year.
"To be average, and then take a year off and then get a lot better, it surprised a lot of people," Boase said.
Last season, Boase garnered attention in collegiate track when he broke the UW record and meet record at the Sun Angel Classic in the 400 meters.
"There were forums and blogs about me on the Internet, and I was like, `It's just a time,'" Boase said. "It took a while for it to set in, but I think the only reason why it set in was because everyone else made a big deal about it."
It's Boase's nonchalant approach toward racing that seems to garner respect among his coaches and peers.
"Jordan's kind of a quiet leader in our group," Sheen said. "People kind of see what he does, and then they do what he does."
Senior sprinter Joe Turner seconded his coach's thoughts.
"He's got the leadership of just being the best. People want to follow him," sprinter Joe Turner said. "He [doesn't] really preach about leadership, but they say it's the way you carry yourself. That's the way he leads."