Not so shocking: Jason Landon signs with Wichita
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (April 26, 2018) – Carlinville head cross country and then assistant track coach Charlie Helton remembered Jason Landon edging brother Cory in a nip-and-tuck 800-meter run at the Gillespie Sectional race two years ago.
Cory was a senior at Carlinville already headed to Wichita State. Jason, a sophomore, took the sectional title away from his older brother his senior year by .03 of a second, 1:58.13 to 1:58.16.
“Afterwards, I remember Coach Garrison asking Cory did you let him win? And he said, No,” Carlinville cross country coach Charlie Helton said.
Though both would end up going to state that year, Cory still gets ridiculed for that race.
“Coach Garrison and Coach Helton razz me about sectionals in 2016 which was my senior year,” C.Landon said. “Jason came from behind in the 800 to just edge me at the line 1:58.13 to my 1:58.16. That season I quickly learned I would have someone chasing my marks for the next couple of years. I’m not holding my breath on the school record 800 mark I set that season with two other Landon’s still around, that’s for sure.”
The tradition will continue as Jason signed last week a letter of intent to run cross country and track at Wichita State, alongside Cory, who is currently a sophomore at WSU. They are the sons of Mike and Jennifer Landon.
It’s been another solid year of running for Jason Landon, who raced in the state cross country meet this past fall in Peoria.
While the track and field season is about half over thus far, Landon has still managed times of 52.37 in the 400-meters and 2:04.60 in the 800-meters. His high school personal bests are 51.32 in the 400 meters and 1:57.35 in the 800-meters.
Landon’s time of 15:30 is his best in the three-mile cross country race, set his junior season.
“I think it’s a relief,” Jason Landon said. “I can go through the season without worrying about it anymore and it’s also exciting.”
Jason Landon thought Wichita State would be the place to be.
“I think I kind of knew I wanted to go there, but I also wanted to look around,” Jason Landon said. “It was a pretty easy decision.”
He hopes to get his times down as the season progresses and hopes to cap his senior season with another trip to Eastern Illinois University and the state track meet at the end of May.
“Coach Helton and Coach Garrison have definitely helped me,” said Jason Landon. “They’ve given me some good workouts and advice to get me here.”
Carlinville track and field coach Ken Garrison said they both deserve the opportunity to run at Wichita State.
“He and his brother both deserve this,” Garrison said. “They worked extremely hard and have been very important to our program over the years.”
Cory Landon anchored the middle distance races for Garrison while at CHS, while his brother Jason has stepped right into that role that Cory left behind in 2016.
“Wichita State’s getting another really good one,” Garrison added.
“The competitiveness, but that brotherly love at the same time is pretty special,” Helton said. “I mean it’s hard to replicate to have siblings that are both that talented and get the opportunity to race in that same race. Now to go down to Wichita and train together and turn a new chapter in his life its so cool he can still share that with his brother.”
Even older brother can look forward to what is to come at Wichita State next season.
“I’m excited to see what Jason can accomplish the next couple years at Wichita State firsthand,” C.Landon said. “It still feels like yesterday, both of us having breakout seasons training and competing with one another in the Cavie red and blue.”
With both Landons now on board, that brings five Illinois distance runners to the WSU program, along with Ben Flowers of Jerseyville, Josh Cable of Rochester and Connor Stine of Olympia.
“I think this is something special we’re building here,” C.Landon said. “The five of us began competing in the same invitationals throughout our high school days and now we are competing at the biggest collegiate level as teammates.”
Jason Landon, center, signs a letter of intent to run at Wichita State next season. He is flanked by his high school coaches, Charlie Helton and Ken Garrison.