Bray earns spot on Under Armour team

Calera's Jordon Bray was selected by Under Armour to serve as a respresentative of the company's UA Next Team. (Contributed)

Calera’s Jordon Bray was selected by Under Armour to serve as a respresentative of the company’s UA Next Team. (Contributed)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

CALERA — Jordon Bray is quickly becoming a star in track and field.

The Calera native has earned 75 podium (first, second or third place) medals in her career. She’s also qualified for a spot on the AAU and USA Track and Field Junior Olympics in her first two seasons of competition.

While an impressive resume, this might be the most remarkable statistic: Bray is only eight years old.

Speed appears to be a trait in the Bray family; Jordon’s father, Jason Bray, is a former standout at cornerback for Auburn, while her cousin noted Tigers’ playmaker Quan Bray. Despite the history of quickness associated with the family name, Marketta Bray said area track teams were reluctant to take a chance on her.

“Because she was so young, no one (would) take her,” she said. “We finally found a team that would take her, and she’s been running since she was six.”

She didn’t just run, she excelled at it. In addition to her medals, Bray is ranked No. 11 in the nation and No. 1 in the state for 8-and-under runners. When an opportunity to showcase her skills in a training challenge at the Hibbett Sports in Alabaster, she jumped at the chance.
Competing in various track and field activities, Jordon’s skill set shined, as she not only won her age group, she posted the best time for all participants aged 7-9. From there, she was contacted by an Under Armour representative who set up a Skype interview with her.

“We received a Skype call Sept. 15 informing us that Jordon had been chosen to represent Under Armour in their Team UA Next roster,” Marketta Bray said.

The Under Company then flew the family to Baltimore, where the Under Armour company gave them a tour of their headquarters, a press conference announcing Jordon’s selection for the team, which includes serving as a model for Under Armour products — the youngest of the six selected.

“It feels good,” Jordon Bray said of the selection. “It’s a big thing that’s happened to me. I’ll never forget it.”

Jordon said her dream is to make it to the world’s stage one day.

“I was in the Junior Olympics twice,” she said. “I want to go to the (main) Olympics. I want to run all over the world and let people know my name like Flo-Jo (the late Florence Griffin Joyner).”

Marketta said that she and husband will continue to help Jordon touch her dreams.

She’s able to separate (track and school),” Marketta said. “We make sure school comes first. (Running)’s what she wants to do, and we’re going to do what we can to help her get there.”