St. Al’s Jones sprints to state title in hurdles|[05/05/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 5, 2007

From staff reports

It had been over a year since St. Aloysius’ Bray Jones had won a race in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

On Friday at Pearl High School, Jones celebrated his first victory of the season – and a state championship.

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Jones, a senior, won the Class 1A 300 hurdles, beating a rival from Thomastown for the first time in three postseason meets.

&#8220The guy from Thomastown had beaten me the last two meets, but I told him before the race today that I was gunning for him. I wasn’t lying,” Jones said.

Heading toward the last hurdle, Jones was in third place.

&#8220There was a guy from Coffeeville and the one from Thomastown in front of me. Then I just got a surge and went ahead in the last few steps,” Jones said. &#8220I had a habit of getting second in all my races this season. But I had only two meets before the division meet and those were against big schools. It felt good to finally finish in first place.”

The state title makes up for last year’s disappointing seventh place finish at the state meet.

&#8220I was projected to get second last year, but I kept falling down and didn’t run my best race,” Jones added.

He credited a good week of practice and coach Mike Jones for getting him ready for the state meet.

&#8220I practiced pretty hard and coach Jones gave me some key pointers on what to do today,” Bray Jones said.

Jones was one of seven St. Al participants at the Class 1A state meet. Shot putter Jordan Granville finished fifth in his event while junior Chip Donald was fourth in the high jump and fifth in the long jump.

Davis Magee was sixth in the 800 meter run and Adam Thornton was fifth in the 1600 meter run. The Flashes’ 4×200 relay team was seventh. Although a few more gold medals would’ve been nice, Mike Jones said it was important not to lose sight of what his athletes accomplished by getting to the state meet.

&#8220It makes it worth going when you qualify for seven events at the state meet. When you make the state meet, you’ve accomplished a lot. You’re in the top eight, in the state’s elite,” the St. Al coach said.

&#8220The kids lose perspective when they don’t do well at the meet. Yeah, you finished seventh, but look at all the kids that didn’t make it that far.”