BY THERESA SCANLON
Franciscan University of Steubenville’s top runner is currently finishing out his last collegiate track and field season with record-breaking times.
Bill Jones believes that his most recent successes are the results of tougher training, but his attitude toward his senior season cannot help but boost his times.
“I want to do the absolute best that I can,” Jones said of his current goals for the 2013 track and field season. “This is my last season. This is it. I do not want to hold anything back. I want to make the most of it and leave everything on the track.”
Jones has held nothing back in the past three track and field meets, where he has shattered his records and stepped up from last year’s pace.
“I usually expect to perform at least to the caliber of last season,” Jones said. “I know I have gotten in better shape since last year due to cross country and personal training.”
In the first meet of the season, Jones ran the 5000-meter race with a new time of 14:24.78, placing first in the nation and shattering his previously held school record of 14:35.92.
In his second meet this spring, Jones again earned a first place national ranking in the 1500-meter run, finishing with a time of 3:52.10.
In his most recent meet at the Bucknell Bison Invitational, Jones won the 10K race with a time of 29:11.37, competing against Division I teams. Jones’ time in the 10K makes him the second fastest runner in the history of Division III outdoor track and field.
“Every season I try to set the bar a little higher,” Jones said. “It gives me confidence to know that I am already faster than last year; that all my hard work is paying off.”
As for the rest of the season, Jones hopes to continue improving by pushing himself harder in workouts and races to the point of pain. To do so, Jones believes that it is important to remain aware of the competition.
“I like to gauge where my competition is at,” Jones said. “And from there, what I need to do to establish myself as the lead guy, as the guy that everyone wants to beat.”
Jones continues to pace himself to last year’s track and field theme from St. Francis of Assisi: ‘Brothers and sisters, let us begin, for up until now we have done nothing.’
“Yes I have won a few races,” Jones said. “But I have never been an all-American, or a national champion. What matters now is what is up ahead.”
Jones will move ahead to race in at least six more competitions this spring, including the Division III National Championships where Jones’ is hit hardest by nerves. Yet Jones plans to finish his last season with a solid race that will sum up all of his hard work.
“Coach Oliver always asks me what my season goals are,” Jones said. “I don’t vocalize my answer. My answer is in my workouts, in the completion and success of the season after nationals.”