There's never been a lack of urgency in anything Jordan Chester does.
But with the start of her final year of high school, the Boone Grove senior senses an even greater desire to seize the moment.
"I can't wait because it's my last season," Chester said. "I'm really looking to compete. I really want to better my (personal best 18:43) by a lot. I'd definitely like to get on the (state awards) podium again and make the top five. I've just become more aware as a senior how important the offseason before cross country is. I'm going to give it everything I have."
That's never been an issue for Chester, who is once again splitting her time with soccer, much to coach Chad Roggow's relief. The four-sport athlete, who also ranks second in her class with a 4.4 grade-point average, has upped her training miles not only for this season but in preparation for college, where she will focus on running.
"I don't see her stopping any time," said Boone coach Trish Kloth, a former sprinter at VU. "I think soccer helps her as well. I admire her being able to do both in one season, going back and forth. It takes a lot of time and determination to be that committed. I see even better things for her. She's very focused, pushing herself every day at practice. It seems she's finishing faster and faster."
With her background, Kloth is helping Chester incorporate more speed work into her runs, which could translate into improved finishes for her.
"I have to say I've never had the greatest kick in the world," Chester said.
Ironically, Chester once thought her future was as a sprinter. It wasn't until she ran a 7:30 mile in sixth grade gym class that her distance prowess was discovered by P.E. teacher Brian Sherwin.
"I just wanted to be on the top 10 leaderboard as a sixth-grader and prove to all the older kids I could do it," Chester said. "(Sherwin) said, 'OK, I guess you'll run the mile for the track team.' I was like, 'What are you talking about?' Everybody who knew me thought I was going to be a sprinter."
Instead, Chester has become the most decorated distance runner in school history. In cross country alone, she's a three-time PCC champion and all-state finisher.
"It's sad to see she's a senior," Kloth said. "It really gives the freshmen someone to look to, to say, 'OK, if I put in the work and keep at it, I can do just as well as Jordan if not better."
The humble, unassuming Chester is the penultimate role model for Boone's younger runners who may be unsure of their place in such a mentally and physically challenging sport.
"We've got a lot of potential. I can't wait to compete with them," Chester said. "I don't want to make them scared about high school, and not like what they're doing so when I come back to visit they're not running anymore. I want them to find it fun, like it was for me."