By: Matt Merkel
Franciscan University of Steubenville student Bill Jones received the title Fastest Runner in Ohio when he won the All-Ohio meet on September 29, 2012. Two weeks later, in Oberlin, Ohio, Jones broke the Franciscan record for the 8K race with a time of 23:31. He smashed the old record of 24:22, previously held by Jones himself.
As the standout Baron at Franciscan, Jones has a lot of expectation riding on him for the remainder of this season. Jones, just as he does on the course, tries to take it all in stride.
“I don’t set any limits for myself. I knew I had to be strong when this season started,” Jones said. “I want to get as good as I can.”
Jones attributes his massive improvement from last year’s efficient season to his coach, Daniel Kuebler. Kuebler has pushed Jones to be his most successful runner he has ever had. Kuebler’s running program combined with Jones’s effort and willingness to implement his schedule created a record breaking year for the both of them.
“My coach has been a huge catalyst for my success,” Jones said. “He knows what I’m capable of and he helps me realize my potential and I listen to him. I want to reward him by doing well. This is what his hard work of coaching has gotten me to accomplish. Kuebler guides me to achieve my goals. I owe him a lot of credit.”
Last year, Jones felt that his season could have been better. While he got to nationals, he finished 116th due to illness. Not getting first place has motivated him to train to be the best runner in the nation.
“I have a lot of motivational factors,” Jones said. “I have a frustration for not doing well last year in nationals. I’m challenging all that anger and trying to prove myself.”
Jones has been running the majority of his life through middle school until now. His gift for running was recognized early on, but it was not until his junior year of high school that he started to train to better use his gift. After he put his nose to the grindstone, he recognized his affirmation in running.
“Running is probably the area in my life I’m most confident in. It’s amazing,” Jones explained. “I make the decision to work hard or to hurt in a race. It’s up to me to make the decision. Running helps me to be confident in other areas. It builds me up and it makes me know I’m setting a good example of what hard work can do.”
Aside from breaking every record for the Baron cross country team, Jones has a bigger goal. He wants to set a winning attitude for his peers and future athletes that come to Franciscan after he graduates this year.
“I want to inspire people to look at my accomplishments and see that they can do it too. I want to see the athletics program thrive,” Jones said. “I want them to be the best people they can be. Our athletes need to pour it all out for God. After I leave FUS I want to see the development of a more competitive attitude.”
Jones is going to compete in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships at Mount Aloysius College on October 27. A strong performance will guarantee him a spot at Nationals. This mountainous goal can only be achieved with a supreme dedication that Jones has proven to have over the last five years. Come out to support Jones during his last season as a Baron.