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Prep Track Notepad: Jones vindicates Eagles’ belief in her jump skills

Crystal Jones showed up for the Colonial Forge girls track and field team just in time.

Jones was a cheerleader during the winter, but she participated in track in middle school.

With senior standout Amanda Okani dedicating most of her time to soccer, Colonial Forge’s coaching staff was trying to figure out who would perform the jumping events.

“I saw her [tall and long-legged] build and said ‘Let’s go to the high jump,’” Eagles assistant coach Sean Hill said. “She was just jumping out of the sky. I knew right there, we had something.”

Jones is proving Hill correct.

The freshman placed second in the high jump at the Lee–Davis Invitational in Mechanicsville on Saturday.

Her leap of 5 feet, 6 inches is the best in the Fredericksburg area this season.

“She’s improving with every meet,” Hill said.

Jones placed second at the Taco Bell Classic on April 13 in Columbia, S.C., with a jump of 5–4.

But after the finish, she told Hill she would clear 5–6 the following week.

This week, Jones and Hill are working to reach the 5–8 mark.

The top jump in Group AAA this season is 5–9, a mark held by Matoaca High School’s Brianna Hayes.

“She’s pretty much a true athlete,” Hill said of Jones. “Right now, I’m not seeing any boundaries with her. She can only go up from here.”

Jones also performs the long jump, triple jump and 400 meters.

Okani is expected to compete for the Eagles at the Mountain View Track Classic on Saturday.

Hill said the Eagles have also received boosts in the sprints and field events from Tnaja Briscoe, Lauren Lieske and freshman Courtney Williams.

—Taft Coghill Jr.

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