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Athlete Profile: Jordan Towns

USAPM Athlete Jordan Towns
USAPM

USAPM Athlete Jordan Towns

Jordan Towns has been competing in Modern Pentathlon since 2018, and this marks her first year on the World Cup team. During that time, Jordan also completed a veterinary medical residency and is in the process of writing her dissertation to complete her Ph.D. As she competes for a chance to represent the USA at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, here are five things Jordan Towns wants you to know about her.



1.

I am a veterinary clinical pathologist. I have been a veterinarian since 2012, but after working for 5 years as an emergency veterinarian, I decided to specialize in veterinary clinical pathology. A clinical pathologist is someone who specializes in interpreting diagnostic tests (especially labwork and fine needle biopsies). If you have a pet, and your veterinarian has ever said to you, “We need to send this test off to the lab,” – I am “the lab” (along with other pathologists and medical technologists!)In order to specialize in this, veterinarians have to do a 3-year pathology residency and take another board examination on top of their veterinary board examination. I completed my residency and passed my pathology board examination in 2021. Now I enjoy working at a university as a clinical pathologist, where I also get to teach the next generation of veterinary students! I am also finishing a Ph.D. with intent to graduate by the end of this summer.


USAPM Athlete Jordan Towns
USAPM

I am an (American) football officialI have been a football fan since my early teens. I would watch as many games as possible, trying to learn everything I could about the rules, the plays, the coaching decisions, and the game. One day, a friend asked me if I had ever considered being a football official. I didn’t even know women could be football officials! I “googled” it and found my local football association, who informed me that women can absolutely officiate. I started with middle and high school football games, and have since moved to college games. I can honestly say that there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of making a game-winning touchdown call!People often ask me: “What is it like to be a female football official? Do you feel like you have more struggles, being a woman?” There was a steep learning curve since I had never been on a football field before (it’s LOUD out there, y’all!!) And, while I have encountered some people who had objections with my presence on the field, those voices are completely drowned out by the number of wonderful and supportive people I have met along the way. I have some of the best mentors and friends who mean the world to me, so it’s easy to ignore any negativity when you have that kind of support.

USAPM Athlete Jordan Towns
USAPM

I am a multi-time national champion race car driverI grew up in the era of “The Fast and the Furious” movies. The first one was released when I was in high school, so all of my friends were car-obsessed. I didn’t know what to do with my carobsession – playing video games just didn’t quite “cut it.” One of my friends went off to college in another state, and he called me one day to tell me about a car racing event (called “autocross”) that he had observed. He said the organization that hosted the event was the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and that these events happened all over the country. I looked up my local SCCA association, found their schedule, and decided to go to the next one. I took my Toyota Celica out to the event and, while I certainly didn’t set any course records that day, I was hooked. It was the perfect sport for my competitive and adrenaline-seeking nature. Autocross has been in my life ever since.I later found out that there was a National Tour and National Championships, and decided that I wanted to take this hobby to the highest level. In 2013, I won my first national championship! I have also met some wonderful and incredibly supportive people in autocross, including my partner Dennis. We have raced cars together as a team since 2012. I also am a founding member of the “Women on Track” organization within the SCCA; this organization promotes and supports women in motorsports through mentorship programs, coaching, and fellowship events. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn’t discovered autocross those many years ago!


I decided to start competing in modern pentathlon on a whimI was watching the 2016 Rio Olympics with my partner Dennis, and was enamored by the opening ceremonies. I wondered what it would be like to be an athlete walking in the opening ceremonies behind your country’s flag, and I said aloud: “I want to go there.” Dennis started to say “OK, we can buy tickets for the next Olympics…” but I clarified and said “No, I want to be IN the opening ceremonies. I want to be an athlete!” Dennis, being the enabler that he is, said “OK, well we just need to find a sport that you could get to an international level as an adult, since you’ve never really competed in any sports before.” I had a background in pistol shooting and we had almost decided that I should pursue a shooting sport, when I decided to post the question on social media for fun. One of my friends commented: “Have you heard of modern pentathlon?” I had not, but she explained that I already had at least some experience in 3 of the sports – horseback riding, shooting, and running. I had ridden horses since I was a child, and I had been a pistol instructor for several years. Running was a little more questionable – I was a casual runner and would occasionally enter a 5K for fun, but I certainly had never trained in running. Swimming and fencing were completely foreign to me. At the time, I put the idea on the “backburner” since I was working as an emergency vet and didn’t have much time for training. In 2018, I re-considered the idea and decided to completely go for it. I have had so many coaches along the way that have helped me train running, build my shooting and riding skills, and become a respectable fencer and swimmer. I knew the Olympics would be a long-shot, but I did set a goal of being able to represent the USA at a World Cup. This year, my dream comes true!


I want everyone to know that age is just a number!I can personally say that, as an athlete in my late 30s, I get VERY tired of hearing the age references made by sportscasters. I hear statements like: “I can’t believe this athlete is still competing on an international stage over the age of 30, I’m sure they will retire soon.” I fully believe that age is just a number, and that it shouldn’t prevent anyone from chasing their dreams – even if those dreams are athletic ones! Yes, there are additional factors to consider as we get older, such as recovery and injury prevention, but I don’t think a pre-conceived notion about the appropriate age of an athlete should stop anyone from setting and chasing athletic goals. Go for it!!

Bonus: I play the pipe organ!


USAPM Athlete Jordan Towns
USAPM