LSU's Kenan Jones, a Berwick High alum, competes during the indoor season this year (Submitted Photo/LSU Sports Information)
Jones to compete in long jump for LSU Wednesday in NCAA outdoor national championships
LSU freshman long jumper Kenan Jones will conclude his stellar outdoor season Wednesday evening when he competes in the long jump finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin Texas.
Jones is the lone freshman of the 24 competitors in the field. He has the 11th-best mark entering the finals after jumping a personal best of 25 feet, 2.75 inches. The event will start at 6 p.m. and will feature two flights.
Jones and teammates, sophomore JuVaughn Harrison and junior Rayvon Grey, will complete in the second flight. Harrison has the top leap entering the finals, while junior Rayvon Grey has the fifth-best mark.
However, Grey won the indoor national title in the long jump this season, while Harrison was runner-up. Harrison is the NCAA national leader in the long jump this outdoor season.
Jones enters the finals after finishing sixth at the NCAA East Regional where he jumped a personal best of 25 feet, 2.75 inches.
Jones, who has been in Austin since Sunday, said Tuesday that preparations had gone well, noting the team trained at the facility and that Tuesday was a “laid-back” day.
This season, Jones said he thought he has done well.
“Got to see a lot of good competition all around,” Jones said.
Earlier this spring, he split time between football with spring training and track and field.
He said it wasn’t hard balancing the two sports simultaneously.
However, he said, “It was just a lot to juggle.”
While he said competing in both “took a toll on my body,” he said that now he is just focused on track and field with spring training complete, he is doing much better.
With fellow elite long jumpers on the Tigers’ squad, Jones said he has gotten plenty of advice from them, mostly just telling him to learn the technique.
“Other than that, go out and compete with an open mind (and) have fun,” Jones said of other advice he has received from his teammates.
On Wednesday, Jones will represent both LSU and his high school alma mater, Berwick.
“Representing LSU, that’s a wonderful thing, a great thing,” he said. “A lot of people can’t say they can do (that). Representing my home town is one thing that will never get old.”