The McKendrean Magazine - Summer 2022

Q & A: Jordon Spence // National Champion

Jordan Spence
Q: What is your background in powerlifting?

A: I started powerlifting my sophomore year in high school. I also played football, so I hated it at first because of the way your body has to adjust to lifting that much weight. Both sports benefited the other, of course, because conditioning carried over to the weight room and the strength carried over to the field. I come from a small town called Corinth in the state of Mississippi. My high school powerlifting career consisted of me going to North Half my first year (my sophomore year) and then I went to state back-to-back and placed second in both my junior and senior years. When I finished high school, I was recognized as part of the “Super 12” - one of the best lifters by total weight in the whole state of Mississippi. I was unable to bring home a state championship, so when I got an offer to come to McKendree, I set out to bring back a national title. My freshman year before Covid had happened, I was able to compete in two meets - I took first in Shreveport, La., and then I took fifth at Raw Nationals. When it was time for the collegiate nationals to come around, the pandemic had occurred and we were unable to go. At the time, that didn’t stop me from progressing as an athlete because I was determined to bring a national title back to McKendree. During my sophomore year, I came in second place at collegiate nationals.

Q: What motivates you?

A: My motivation would be my autistic eldest brother, Seantavious Barton, because he fights battles that a lot of people will not know about. So every time I hit an obstacle or adversity, I always think of him because he continues to fight and live happily despite his disadvantages and health issues. Another thing that motivates me is my legacy. Everywhere I go, I want people, my state, and even the country to know who Jordon Spence is. When I am long gone from this earth, I want the world to talk about me still. One of my current goals is to one day be inducted into the McKendree Athletic Hall of Fame, so that is another reason why I push myself day in and day out.

Q: Do you have a pre-lift tradition?

A: My pre-lift tradition would be to kiss my Jesus piece and throw my hand up to the sky to acknowledge the Lord, because without Him, none of this would be possible.

Q: What are your future powerlifting goals?

A: My future goals with powerlifting are to beat some of the best lifters in the world and to go pro within the sport itself. I also would like to inspire people with my story so that they can gain the strength and courage to go out and prove the country wrong. Because even though the sport doesn’t get as much praise as it should, we are phenomenal athletes.

Q: What is your favorite powerlifting memory?

A: My favorite memory with powerlifting would be winning a national title for the men’s team as an individual. I was the smallest in my weight class, and yet I walked away with the championship. I was 244 lbs., squatting almost 700 lbs., benching almost 400 lbs., and deadlifting almost 800 lbs. My time competing here at McKendree has been life-changing, because I have accomplished and opened doors that many won’t get the opportunity to do.