Jones Named USTFCCCA Field Athlete of the Year


USTFCCCA Release


MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Akela Jones added yet another accolade to an already stellar first season with K-State Track and Field, earning Women's National Field Athlete of the Year, announced by the USTFCCCA earlier today. The first K-State women's athlete to win an NCAA title since 2011, Jones was honored along with Marquis Dendy of Florida, Andre De Grasse of Southern California and Kendra Harrison of Kentucky. 

Jones' first year competing in Division I has now seen the St. Michael, Barbados, native not only win national athlete of the year, but also Midwest Region Field Athlete of the Year, both indoors and outdoors, as well as the Big 12 Women's Athlete of the Year during the indoor season. She is the first Wildcat ever to win athlete of the year honors since the USTFCCCA began national awards in 1994 and is the first women's athlete from the Big 12 to earn outdoor field athlete of the year honors -- track-specific and field-specific awards began in 2006. 

Jones said she believes this award is just the beginning of what she hopes will be a long and successful career. 

"Just field athlete of the year, above all other female athletes, and these great athletes all over America. It just proves to say I'm building my legacy to become one of the greatest. Great people get these awards, and I think of myself as one of these great people," Jones said.

A junior transfer from Oklahoma Baptist, Jones most recently was one of four women's student-athletes to be nominated for the Honda Sports Award for track and field. Her title-winning effort at NCAAs came in the heptathlon, where she set a school record mark of 6,371 points -- also the fourth-best collegiate mark of all-time. Jones continued her impressive showing at Eugene, Oregon, nabbing first team honors in the high jump by tying a personal best clearance of 1.87m/6-01.50 to place fourth. Tallying 15 points overall for the women, Jones helped the Wildcats to their first top-10 finish since 2002, tying for ninth-place, and she became the first Wildcat since Ryann Krais in 2011 to finish top-five at NCAAs in two separate events. 

With her first season as a Wildcat under her belt, Jones said she will look to focus on international competition this summer, starting with Barbados Nationals this weekend.

"I have Barbados Nationals this weekend at home," Jones said. "Then, in July, I have the Pan-American Games. And then in August, I have the World Championships then back here at school.

"My expectations remain the same. World Championships, Olympic games, those are the expectations of the people now. They expect that now for me to go out and represent them. Everything remains the same. Same focus, same goals."

To follow Jones and the rest of K-State Track and Field as they partake in summer competition, visit www.k-statesports.com