Jones Overcomes Tight Schedule at NCAA Championship

The St. Michael, Barbados, native competed in the high jump, the long jump and the 60M hurdles - all in one day - and traveled back to the Little Apple with All-American honors in each event. 
"My high jump went well, and I think I jumped pretty well in terms of my schedule," explained Jones. "My schedule was pretty tight - I had three events going on at one time."
In the high jump, Jones placed fourth overall as she opened her first NCAA Indoor Championships appearance clearing 1.84m/6-00.50 on her second attempt to secure a fourth-place finish. Leading up to her fourth-place jump, Jones went a perfect 4-for-4 on all heights. 
Her finish was the best by a Wildcat women's high jumper at NCAA Indoors since 1997.  
"She's had a phenomenal junior year, and she has improved in every event that she has done throughout the indoor season," said Rovelto about Jones who, during the 2014-15 indoor season broke two K-State records. "At NCAAs, I thought she jumped well in the high jump, then in the long jump she didn't really have the opportunity to get on the runway to warm up properly so she just never found her rhythm. She was jumping extremely far, she just never got on the board."
Jones didn't have long to go from competing in the high jump to competing in the long jump and the 60M hurdles. Once finished with the high jump, she raced off to the long jump pit for the event's semifinal, and, after marking a distance of 6.09m/19-11.75 and qualifying for the long jump final, she headed straight to the hurdles to compete again. 
She clocked an 8.24 over the hurdles to finish 13th overall and earn second-team All-American honors, a feat that made her the first-ever Wildcat women's athlete to earn All-American honors in the event. 
Rushing back to the long jump pit, despite the tight schedule, she performed well in the event's final and placed sixth overall with a leap of 6.28m/20-07.25.
"In the hurdles, she literally had zero warm up," continued Rovelto. "She didn't go over a single hurdle, didn't come out of the block one time because she took two jumps in the long jump and had to go straight to the hurdles. But she still ran it in a time that was faster than her old PR. I thought, under the circumstances, that wasn't bad. She really did a good job. We knew it was going to be tight in those events, and she did a good job with it."
 
Jones' multiple All-American honors put her in elite company among the K-State track and field greats as she became only the fifth Wildcat women's athlete to ever earn multiple first team honors in an indoor season. 
"The long jump didn't go as planned," Jones added. "I went in ranked No. 1 and came out No. 6, but it's okay, it only makes you want to push harder for outdoors. You want to go out there and push yourself again. It was a nice experience, and it was good to see how the NCAAs operate. Overall, it was pretty cool and I'm hungrier more now than ever. I feel hungry going into outdoors. 
"I'm even more eager to bring back an NCAA title for K-State and prove to other schools that K-State isn't just a jumper school - we can throw, we can jump and we can sprint - we are multi-talented over here and we work hard."
A quick turnaround, that hard work started back up again just the day after Jones returned from the NCAA Championships. By Monday afternoon, she was back out on the track training alongside her teammates.
Overall, at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships the Wildcats concluded and exciting 2014-15 indoor season with All-American performances in eight total events
Wildcat freshman A'Keyla Mitchell shattered the 200-meter race record (you can click here to read yesterday's K-State Sports Extra about Mitchell's outstanding performance) at the NCAA Championships while, throughout the indoor season, numerous other Wildcats also earned No. 1 spots in the K-State record books. 
During indoor season, thrower Dani Winters broke the school shot put record (17.45m/57-03 at the Husker Invitational) while Jones broke the 60M hurdles (8.14 at the Big 12 Championship) and the long jump records (21-09.50 at the Tyson Invitational). Along with these individual victories, the Wildcats 4x400 team made up of Sonia Gaskin, Tia' Gamble, Erica Twiss and Mitchell broke a school-record as it clocked a time of 3:34.27 at the Tyson Invitational. 
"I think we had a really, really exceptional year," explained Rovelto on his team's 2014-15 indoor season. "If you look at the number of school records broken, it was just extraordinary. You would be hard pressed to have a better year."
As the team's exciting indoor season has come to a close, the Wildcats now have set their focus on the 2015 outdoor season. Kicking off the outdoor campaign right away, the Wildcats will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend to compete in the TCU Invitational on March 19 and 20.
While the team has plenty of talent returning, Wildcat seniors Erica Twiss and Carlos Rodriguez concluded their eligibility with K-State track and field during the 2014-15 indoor season. Two key components to the Wildcats' success over the past four years, Twiss, a multi-event competitor, and Rodriguez, a sprinter, will be greatly missed. 
"You lost some really good athletes in Erica Twiss and Carlos Rodriguez," said Rovelto about his thoughts on the team heading into the outdoor season. "You lose a big part of the program over the past few years in both of them, so somebody else is going to have to step up this year." 
 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.