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Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Swanson seeks goals before heading off to GU

Caden Swanson will compete at Gonzaga University next year after a tremendous career at Jesuit (photo courtesy Jim Swanson)

The Twilight Relays, regarded as the best track meet in the Pacific Northwest, took place April 26 at Jesuit High School and hosted some of the country’s premier athletes. For senior distance runner Caden Swanson, his main focus was on the elite mile.

Swanson, the team captain for the Jesuit cross country and track programs, is committed to Gonzaga University. He boasts impressive PR’s with times of 9:04 in 3200 and an 800 PR of 1:55.

Last Friday, Swanson raced the elite mile at Twilight Relays in the deepest mile field in the country and placed twelfth with a new PR of 4:13.

Swanson started running at a very young age. Both of his parents compete in marathons, inspiring him to start running and playing sports.

“At my elementary school (Bonny Slope) they had a program called Bobcat Trail club where kids could go into school 30 minutes early every Tuesday/Thursday and run,” Swanson said. “During these mornings runners would get a hole punch on a card for every lap that they ran and the more laps that you ran the better the rewards.

Beginning in third grade, Swanson joined Bowerman Track Club, an elite running program named after Nike Co-Founder and University of Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman. He then joined the St. Pius track team where his love for running grew into what it is today.

Swanson always considered himself as a pretty good runner and knew he could compete at Jesuit entering freshman year, but wasn’t sure if he was good enough to draw attention from colleges. Because of Covid, it was difficult to see where he was really at compared to other distance runners around the country.

My career really started to take off during my sophomore year at Jesuit,” Swanson said. “I scored at nationals for the team and was our fourth fastest runner which gave me a lot of confidence going into track. From there I sunk myself into running and I ran some really fast times that were in the top 10 in the country for the sophomore class.

When his confidence began to soar after a very successful trip at nationals, Swanson realized he had what it takes to pursue college running. He always knew that running in college was his goal, it was just a matter of running fast enough to get there.

When the recruiting season came around, there was a plethora of schools that Swanson received letters from including the likes of Wake Forest, Stanford, Tulsa, Oregon and Gonzaga.
“When I started taking visits I immediately knew that Gonzaga was the place for me,” Swanson said. “I had a lot of friends there running on the team and it is a place that I can really see myself thriving at throughout college.”

As a premier runner in the state of Oregon and specifically at Jesuit, The Twilight relays mean more than most.

“The Twilight Relays means a great deal to me and to a lot of Jesuit runners,” Swanson said. “It’s an event where we can really showcase our abilities not just to win the race but to the Jesuit community.”

Swanson knew he wanted to PR in the mile, but with such a competitive field, there was a lot of uncertainty.

“My goal was to just go out there and execute my race plan as best I could while setting a PR,” Swanson said. “I went out a little faster than I was intending on through 800 meters but I was able to fight all the way to the line and bring home a 2 second PR.”

The Twilight Relays are now in the past, and the Crusaders will turn their attention to the Metro League championships, and the State meet on May 18th held at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

With high aspirations to place first in both of these meets as a team, Swanson also has set lofty personal goals before he heads off to Spokane this fall.

“As a team our goal is to be top 3 at state this track season,” Swanson said. “My individual goals are to break the school records in the 1500 and the 3000 as well as win the state championship in each event.”

With the state of Oregon stacked with talent, Hayward Field will be a venue filled with record breaking times and some of the most competitive fields out of anyone in the west coast.

“There are a lot of really great athletes this year that are capable of winning the state meet and it will just be a matter of who feels better on that given day, but I do believe that I am towards the top of that group and I have a good shot at winning.”

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About the Contributor
Luke Bayne
Luke Bayne, Sports Writing Editor
Luke Bayne is a senior at Jesuit High School. He is interested in writing about sports specifically analyzing the competition, game plan and personnel for each team. Luke loves playing lacrosse and golfing in his free time. Along with those hobbies, he attends most Oregon Duck home football games. Luke got interested in journalism from watching sports and reading articles on ESPN and Sports Illustrated, he is super excited to interview Jesuit athletes and coaches and learn how they prepare for each game. Luke hopes to publish many articles for Jesuit athletics and provide insights about the crusaders to people all around the pacific northwest.