Parkersburg High’s Jordan Balog headed to Marshall
Big Red will run indoor/outdoor track and cross country
PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg High School senior Jordan Balog is more than excited about her future.
A three-year soccer letterman for the Big Reds and a four-year letterman in track, Balog recently signed her national letter-of-intent to compete for the Thundering Herd of Marshall University in both track and cross country.
While she also made visits to Charleston, W.Va. Wesleyan and Glenville State among others, in the end she decided Huntington was the best place to continue her career as a student-athlete.
“I really love the campus,” said Balog, who carries a 3.8 cumulative GPA and plans to major in biology. “I just haven’t decided what I want to do with that afterward, whether it’s a physicians assistant or med school.
“I love their indoor track, their lifting facility and my dad also graduated from Marshall so that definitely helped. My whole family really liked the atmosphere when we were on the visit.”
Balog helped the Big Reds to a fifth place showing at last year’s Class AAA state meet in the 4×400 and spent her freshman and junior years running cross country early in the season to help her conditioning.
The soon-to-be ex-Big Red said it was Marshall assistant/distance coach Caleb Bowen who got things rolling.
“We had just exchanged emails and then they asked me if I wanted to come down and visit and I was absolutely thrilled about that,” she said. “We went down for the visit and talked with coach Bowen.”
Although Balog admitted she has a plethora of friends going to West Virginia University, she definitely won’t be alone in Cabell County.
“My best friend, Sophie Thompson, signed with Marshall to be the goal keeper on the soccer team,” Balog added. “Going to the same college as my best friend is going to make my transition easier.”
On top of that, the Big Red also has a friend from across the Little Kanawha River in Parkersburg South distance runner Abby Herring by her side.
“I’m rooming with Abby, who I’m close to and that’s a big help,” she said. “I had saw that she signed and I messaged her one day and we got that set up and we plan on doing the summer workouts together to get ourselves ready for indoor and outdoor season.’
Balog admitted soccer “became a big part of my life” but she’s ready to focus on becoming a full-time runner.
“I just plan on working really hard over the offseason and getting the summer workout,” Balog added. “I have to get my mileage up after track season and work on my endurance a lot more. It’s something I haven’t done in a while.”