Jones tripped in the 100 hurdles at the 2013 state meet, which might’ve cost her a state championship. She was leading at the halfway point of the 300 hurdles, but couldn’t keep up her pace through to the finish line.
That lack of conditioning, Carney said, came from not being able to practice during the season. With the new track installed at Hook Eales Stadium, Jones said she’s already started to see improvement.
“It’s a lot better than grass and dirt,” Jones said of the new track. “It makes you run a little faster.”
Jones said keeping her trailing leg from bumping the hurdles will be the key to winning a state championship this season. McAlester’s competed in just one track meet so far, with Jones placing second in the 300 hurdles and third in the 100 hurdles March 14 in Glenpool.
Both Carney and Jones attributed those finishes to a lack of conditioning early in the track season.
“It gets easier,” Jones said.
“You start out kind of rough, especially with the hurdles.”
However this season ends, Jones said she plans to go to college next year, but she’s unsure if she’ll run track.
Carney said a number of schools have shown interest in Jones, among them Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Bacone College in Muskogee and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Arkansas, a Division I school, might be especially appealing to Jones, who listed it and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater as her two dream schools.
“She has some opportunities,” Carney said.
Once in college, Jones said she plans to major in elementary school education. She said she’s always wanted to be a teacher, having been especially inspired by fourth-grade teacher Lindsey McMullen at Edmond Doyle Elementary.
“She just made it fun,” Jones said of McMullen, who has since moved away from McAlester. “We did a lot of activities that were kind of hands-on.”