||Junior named track and field athlete of the year; coach wins top honor
RELEASED: January 7, 2010
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY—On Jan. 9, two members of the Centre College community were recognized for their remarkable accomplishments in the 2009 track and field season.
At the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association/United States Association for Track and Field banquet in Lexington, Ky., junior Chrys Jones of Harrodsburg, Ky., was honored as the 2009 Kentucky Male Collegiate Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Head coach Lisa Owens was recognized as the 2009 Kentucky Women’s Collegiate Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Jones is the first Centre student to receive such a prestigious athletic award.
"Chrys was most certainly deserving of the honor," Owens says. "He was the only male collegiate track and field athlete to win a national title this past spring, which puts him on a different level than most Kentucky track and field athletes. I was very happy for him and very proud of him, as I always am."
Though he participates in the long jump, triple jump and high jump, Jones says that his favorite is the triple jump, which "is also the most technical of all the events I do. I developed a love for it over the years, and now it's definitely my favorite."
Jones demonstrated his remarkable talent in the event at the very first meet of the 2009 outdoor track and field season. With a triple jump of 49 feet, 1 1/2 inches, he placed first in the competition.
In the season's second meet, he again placed first, jumping 50 feet, 8 1/4 inches. He also finished first in the third meet, where he jumped 50 feet, 4 inches.
At the 2009 SCAC Championships, Jones placed first in the triple jump and later went on to compete in the event at the 2009 Division III Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
There, he won the national title—the first time a Centre student has ever achieved a national championship—and set a new Don Drumm Stadium record with a jump of 50 feet, 3 1/4 inches.
Jones was named an All-American for his performance in this extraordinary triple jump.
He also competed twice in the long jump during the 2009 track and field season. At the Cumberland Invitational, he placed first with a jump of 22 feet and 1/4 inch; later, at the SCAC Championships, he took home third place after jumping 22 feet, 5 inches.
Although he was injured after his first year at Centre, Jones has been a member of the track and field team since he first came to the College, and he has greatly enjoyed being part of the team.
"I enjoy the closeness of the team and coaching staff at Centre," he says. "We don't have an extremely large team, so it's easy to build friendships with people on the team, as well as with the coaches."
And, like all college athletes, Jones has worked diligently to find the perfect balance between academics and sports, a task that demands much energy and persistence.
"It's definitely not easy," he says, "but that's what I would expect from Centre College."
Owens became head coach of the track and cross country teams in 2001 after serving as Centre's assistant men's and women's track coach for three years.
In the 2009 season, she coached three conference champions, eight All-Conference selections, an All-American and an Academic All-American. She also led the Colonels to their best ever finish at the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference Championships, where the team finished fourth overall.
"I've coached at Centre for 13 years now," she says, "and I can't think of any place I'd rather be. I'm blessed to be able to work every day with young men and women who are not only hard working, motivated and talented athletes but also some of the brightest academic students in the nation."
She adds that she is also thankful that Centre has "staff, faculty and administration who work very well with our athletics department to see that our student athletes have the best well-rounded college experience that they can have."
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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