It’s always a thrill to see kids I know do well. Two young women might have fallen short of Olympic teams, but not by much. It’s been a great week for McDowell grads who were hopeful for spots on Olympic teams. Sheena Gordon, 28, competed in the women’s triple jump at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials came very close to meeting the Olympic qualifying distance, but her best distance fell slightly short. Read the full story here.
A graduate of law school at Georgia State University in Atlanta, she attempted to qualify for Olympics in the high jump in 2004 and in the high jump and triple jump in 2008.
Alexandra Acker is another great McDowell athlete who fell just short of qualifying for the Olympics in the pole vault. Acker was on state winning McDowell team’s with my daughter Kelly Eckert. Read more of her story by Victor Fernandes here. My daughter was briefly a pole vaulter, and I honestly had trouble watching. It’s a nerve wracking sport to watch your kid hanging off that pole. Retired coach Joe Sanford coached the team.
Both Gordon and Acker turned to track after choosing other sports. Gordon had been a basketball player and Acker had been a gymnast.
The Gordon family of athletes has made quite a name for itself. Sheena’s sister, Chelsea Gordon, was an all-star basketball player. She played in 116 career games at the University of Illinois. She was named the team’s best defensive player in her sophomore and junior years and set career scoring highs numerous occasions. In Erie, she was a four-year starter at Mercyhurst Prep winning back to back PIAA State titles in 2004 and 2005. She scored 1,728 career points and had 762 rebounds for the Lakers. My daughter, Kelly Eckert, played hoops with Chelsea at Westlake Middle School. Today, Chelsea Gordon is living in Manhattan and studying fashion at Parsons The new School of Design. It ranks as the number one Fashion Design School in the nation and second internationally behind Central Saint Martins of London. Chelsea, Sheena and Tiffany are the daughters of John and Beverly Gordon of Erie.