Paige Jones follows footsteps of her father
August 15, 2010By L Ausmer of Pass Christian High School
DOUG BARBER/SUN HERALD Kent Jones and his daughter, Paige, who is going to run track at USM. Kent is a former Harrison Central football star. Paige was a sprinter for Pass Christian High School.
Jones, 18, will be running for the University of Southern Miss. She reports to school on Saturday and will begin her training, with sights set on the indoor track season.
Jones ran the 100- and 200-meter dashes for Pass Christian, and also was the team's high jumper. She won the 200-meter state title in 2009 when the Lady Pirates won the Class 3A state track and field championship.
Her father was one of the top running backs in Harrison Central history. As a senior, he helped Harrison Central go 9-2 in 1979. His jersey was retired by the school.
"Coach (Shane) Brandford, my sprint coach, sent me some workouts to get in shape this summer,'' Jones said.
"They are really hard. One good thing is when I get to school, it will not just be me working out. It will be the whole team. I'm not saying it will be easier but will feel better working with other people.''
Paige ran a 25.89 in winning the state title in 2009. She had a 24.9 200 at the Gaston Hewes Relays in 2010.
"After my dad said my stride looked a lot like Allyson Felix (the sprinter), I started watching track meets (on TV),'' Paige said.
"I watched how she runs. I do look up to here. My sophomore and freshman years, I got to watch Bianca Knight run at state. I like the way she runs. She is really a good sprinter.''
Kent Jones electrified Red Rebel fans, be it on the football field, the basketball court or the cinder track.
He has enjoyed watching the success of his daughter.
"It's like you live through your kids, and see them participate in some of the same things you participated,'' Kent Jones said.
"It's very rewarding. Unbeknownest to my daughter, I went to state in the 100 and 200. I was a state sprinter. People didn't realize that. I did play basketball and football and was all-state in basketball, football and track.
"When she gets to USM, she'll need to hit the weight room, and work on her start.
"One thing that is encouraging is that all the schools that recruited her - Arizona State, Loyola of Chicago, Tulane. USM - they don't have to teach Paige how to run.
She has an Allyson Felix-type of stride. Its natural. So half that battle is won."
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