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Schwab: Saints' Shead ready to run for Irish

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Jordan Shead finalized a glamorous decision in decidedly unglamorous decision – with an email.

Last week, the St. Charles East senior verbally committed to the Notre Dame women’s track and field program by sharing her intentions via an email correspondence with Fighting Irish sprints coach Alan Turner.

Businesslike enough, but then again, Shead knows a no-nonsense college career awaits her at a school like Notre Dame, especially with a formidable major such as biology in mind.

“It’s going to be a pretty big challenge, I’ve heard, from when I visited the girls on the team majoring in that,” Shead said. “They say it’s pretty hard but I really enjoy it, so I don’t think it’ll be that bad.”

Shead finished fourth in the 400-meter run at the IHSA Class 3A Girls Track and Field State Meet as a junior, clocking in at 55.56 seconds.

She’s hoping to better that time and place this season, which begins with the start of indoor workouts next week. Shead said Notre Dame is primarily interested in her for the 400 but the 200 and 800 are also considerations.

“Over the summer I did club track (with the Aurora Flyers) and I didn’t PR over the summer but I really worked on getting strong and building a good base,” Shead said. “I’ve just been working hard in the offseason in building up, so it’s looking pretty good.”

With longtime Saints stalwart Britney Williams graduated, Shead’s leadership on East’s powerhouse 4x400 relay and throughout the team will be all the more crucial.

Shead said she chose Notre Dame over Dayton, Loyola and Wisconsin. Her father, Corey, is a big Notre Dame football fan, and has taken Shead to Irish games in the past.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Shead said. “There’s so much tradition. Everyone just goes crazy. Everyone is all in the schools colors and everyone’s so passionate. It’s great.”

The 6-foot tall Shead played basketball for the Saints as an underclassman before stepping aside to escalate her track training. Shead said she misses basketball “a little bit,” but stands by her decision, noting that basketball season overlaps with the start of indoor track.

In October, Shead took an official visit to Notre Dame. She enjoyed the trip but needed time before making what she called “a very tough decision” because of her affection for some of the other schools recruiting her.

“It’s a very beautiful campus,” Shead said. “I really liked the team. They were all very nice and friendly, and the coach was great. It seems like he had very good vision for the future and for me.”

Light at end of tunnel: St. Charles East boys basketball standout Dom Adduci would be looking forward to Saturday’s rivalry matchup with St. Charles North no matter what, but the circumstances this week amplify his anticipation.

In the midst of finals weeks – and Adduci is a conscientious student, ranking in the top 10 percent of East’s senior class – the prospect of lacing ‘em up against North is helping Adduci stave off the finals-week blues.

“It’s a little stressful but it’s not too bad,” Adduci said. “The big game on Saturday is definitely something to help us push through finals and definitely something to look forward to after that.”

• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or jschwab@shawmedia.com.

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