Noble’s Maddox Jordan wins the Class A cross country state championship at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast in early November. Two weeks later, Jordan was the top Maine finisher at the New England championships in Belfast, placing sixth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

If Noble High cross country coach Sarah Stowell could change one thing about Maddox Jordan, she would make him meaner.

Not for long. Just while he’s competing.

“He has an amazing personality and just a super, super kindness about him to everyone, including his competitors,” Stowell said. “I’ve told him ‘Maddox, I need a little more aggressiveness, a little more competitiveness in this race. Turn off that nice thing for (a few) minutes.'”

It hasn’t worked. At the Class A South regional at Twin Brook Recreation Area in October, Stowell stood at the mile mark preparing to give Jordan his split time when she realized he was deep in conversation with rival Nathan Blades, a fellow senior from Portland High, as they led the race.

Stowell sighed. Blades prevailed in that race, after which Jordan discovered he had come down with mononucleosis.

Two weeks later in Belfast, Jordan rebounded to win the Class A state meet in 15 minutes, 42 seconds, fastest of the day regardless of class. He followed that with a sixth-place showing at the New England championships, also in Belfast in 15:42, to lead the Maine contingent.


In late September, he clocked 15:30 – the fastest time all fall for any Maine schoolboy – to finish second at the Festival of Champions.

Jordan is our choice as Varsity Maine Runner of the Year for boys’ cross country.

Because Noble failed to qualify as a team for the state meet, Jordan ran alone. The individual title was his fifth in a row in Class A across sports. In February, he won indoor track championships at 800 meters and the mile, and in June he won at 800 and 1,600 meters in outdoor track.

“Maddox is incredibly coachable,” Stowell said. “He does have an enormous amount of natural talent, but he really capitalizes on that by his ability to take feedback and turn it into something. He’s really good at taking a workout, no matter what he’s feeling that day, and he will turn over whatever rep you ask.”

Danny Lawrence, now the athletic director at Massabesic, coached Jordan at Noble in track and cross country. Lawrence said the remarkable thing about Jordan has been his ability to follow an established long-term plan, not simply for one season but for his entire high school career.

“Maddox is the only one I’ve ever worked with who’s been able to stick with it,” Lawrence said. “He’s always been able to have a vision of where he could go.”


This season didn’t exactly go as planned. Foul weather canceled a few early meets, and before the sore throat that morphed into mono, he needed a two-week break to recover from a hip problem. Jordan suspects that jumping into long preseason runs after a more leisurely summer led to the irritation and swelling.

“It was kind of on the brink of being injured,” he said. “I did think it worked out the best it could have by the end of the year, but if I didn’t have those (setbacks), it would have been a little bit better.”

Jordan grew up with parents who raced triathlons. His older sister, Grace, did gymnastics before gravitating to soccer and track for Noble. Maddox followed the fitness route and ran his first 5K road race while in kindergarten. His mom started a running club at his North Berwick elementary school.

Jordan played soccer and lacrosse and wrestled, but all those sports gradually gave way to running.

“I found out I was good at it when I was young,” he said. “It’s very relaxing to go on a long run.”

He also snowboards in winter and surfs in summer. He’s a lifeguard at Ogunquit Beach. Having hobbies outside of running helps prevent burnout, he said. Along with a few buddies, Jordan started an Instagram account (@caughtboarding) where they sell shirts and sweatshirts they design.

He will continue his running career at the University of Rhode Island, where he plans to study aquaculture and fisheries.

“I really like the whole ocean aspect of it,” he said. “I wanted to have a degree that I would be interested in. And to be able to run for a team in college was a big goal. I’m pretty excited about that.”

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