Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jesuit runner a portrait of determination

TAMPA — Jordan Schilit needed a subject to draw for a project in his advanced placement art class at Jesuit, so he picked himself. In a concentration essay submitted to his instructor, the standout cross country performer described his mission:

"I will depict my life as a runner — both the triumphs and the sorrows that have developed my character. I will illustrate the vigor and difficulty of distance running as well as the excitement gained from when you succeed. My motivation for this idea came from the first-hand experiences of the wide-ranges of emotions that a runner can go through. I may have achieved many significant accomplishments with high school running, but the hunger for an individual and team state championship has motivated me to achieve more than I could have ever imagined."

Schilit hopes his skills as an artist can do justice to his talents as a runner. Drawings, he believes, often tell a story better than words.

"Sometimes you have emotions you can't describe," Schilit said. "But you can show them with your artwork."

As both an artist and a runner, the senior has come a long way since his freshman year.

That fall, Schilit enrolled in an art class because he was required to. He started with simple sketchbook drawings but ultimately was selected for an honors class and later his current course, reserved for the most talented of the lot.

Schilit also began running as a freshman but initially wasn't good enough to make the varsity roster. Last fall, he placed 12th at the Class 2A state meet. Today, he's one of the region's best distance runners, has a personal best of 15 minutes, 47 seconds and almost certainly will run in college.

Between art and running, Schilit finds parallels.

"You have to be patient with artwork and drawing," Schilit said. "And in cross country, it's not something that just comes to you. (Not making the team as a ninth-grader) taught me that nothing comes easy."

On a highly regarded squad that includes Connor Revord, who is among the state's top performers, Schilit often gets overlooked. But, as Plant's Mike Boza, who coached Schilit two years at Jesuit, put it, "He'd be the No. 1 runner on most teams" in Florida.

"He's running with a lot of confidence, knowing he's in the hunt," Boza said. "He's not afraid to run out front in every race. And he tries to win."

Jesuit runner a portrait of determination 09/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener


    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.