NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA--Sophomore Adam Jones (Amesbury, MA/Triton Regional HS) of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's track and field team said that he has high jumped thousands of times since his freshman year in high school.
Last Saturday, all Jones' hard work paid off when he finished second at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships at the New Balance Armory in New York with a jump of 6-9 3/4, breaking the school record and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships. He is scheduled to compete at 3:15 p.m. Saturday at North Central College's Al Carius Track at the Residence Hall Recreation Center.
"Last year, I kind of coasted through the season, and this year, I definitely worked harder," said Jones. "This year, I started going to the gym and worked harder. The biggest part of competing in the high jump is the mental aspect of it. You have to be confident that you can clear the height. If you don't think you're going to clear it, you will slow down and not jump as high as you can. You have to go out and actually attack the bar, that's the only way you're going to clear it."
Jones just missed at 6-10 3/4 last Saturday, and said that at each meet, you have to take advantage of all of your opportunities. "At most meets, the maximum number of jumps you can do is between five and eight at the peak of your ability," said Jones. "You get tired after several jumps. If I had opened up two heights higher instead of at 6-3, I would have had a chance."
Head Coach Steve Gardiner said that Jones' improvement has been very noticeable. "Adam has been a model of consistency throughout the season," said Gardiner. "His improvement since he arrived here in the fall of 2011 has been dramatic. Adam has a great coach/athlete relationship with my assistant, Darren DeAndrade, who has done a spectacular job with Adam this year. He is a great representative for UMass Dartmouth athletics."
Jones is optimistic about the NCAAs. "Last Saturday, that was the best surface I've ever jumped on," said Jones. "The surface makes a huge difference. What I've accomplished really hasn't hit me yet. I'm just concentrating on the meet ahead, I'm not too nervous about how I'm going to do."
UMASS DARTMOUTH TRACK AND FIELD