Boys Runner of the Year

Shining through adversity and overcoming injury

Southmont’s Trent Jones repeats as JR’s Runner of the year

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NEW MARKET — The saying is that you can’t teach speed. If you were to look up the term speed or fast in the dictionary, you might find a picture of Southmont’s Trent Jones as the definition.

After his junior year where he qualified for the IHSAA Track and Field State Finals, Jones wanted nothing more than to get back there to race among the state’s best runners. However a small micro-tear in his lower leg would sideline Jones for nearly a month costing Jones to miss the county meet where he saw his teammates capture their first county title since 2013. Jones would make his much anticipated return at the Sagamore Conference meet which the Mounties hosted. In his return Jones would go on to win both the 100 and 400 meter dash.

The following week Jones continued his strong return by placing second in the 400 at the Plainfield Sectional with a time of 50.15. Needing either a top three finish or needing to meet the state standard (49.35) at the Lafayette Jeff Regional Jones would place fifth overall and miss meeting the state standard by just .79 seconds as he saw his goal of making it back to the state finals fall just short.

Despite not making it back to the State Finals, Southmont coach Desson Hannum didn’t let that deter him or Jones from having another stellar season and career.

“Trent’s accolades are too many to list at this point,” Hannum said. “He’s not only one of the most accomplished runners we’ve had at Southmont, but one of the more accomplished runners we’ve seen in the county and the conference for that matter. To do what he did this year and then to have it taken away from him with the injury, you could see what the sport meant to him when he returned. Trent did everything possible that he could to comeback as soon as he could. To comeback from what he went through to even have a shot at making it back to the State Finals was really special.”

The desire and work ethic to overcome adversity for the first time in his career, combined with the level of success across on the track and that is what has allowed Jones to repeat as the 2022 Journal Review Runner of the Year.

The accolades for Jones speak for themselves as Hannum alluded to. His junior season he swept the 100, 200, 400 and long jump at both the county and conference meets en route to his State Finals appearance. At the county meet in his junior year he set county records in both the 100 and 400. The SAC meet saw Jones break another record with a time of 49.77 in the 400.

Like Hannum, Jones was satisfied with how he was able to come back from the injury and be able to end his high school career on a high note.

“I was extremely happy to make it as far as I did and what my season turned out to be,” he said. “After the injury I didn’t expect to be able to finish the season originally. I couldn’t have gotten this far without my trainers because they were able to get me back a lot quicker than expected. I was happy to even get to run at conference, then that turned into sectional and then to the regional.”

Originally Jones and Hannum both didn’t know exactly what the injury was that Jones had suffered while doing the long jump during a meet. It turned out to be the best news possible for Jones with just being the micro-tear. As far as the rehabilitation went, Jones made sure that he was doing everything he could to get back to doing what he loved the most... competing on the track.

“Thankfully I had the best kind of tear and the least severe,” Jones said. “My trainers and doctors said the time frame was about 3-4 weeks and thankfully they were right. They provided me with a ton of workouts and stretches to help me get back to where I was before the injury. When I got back out on the track, I felt extremely confident that I’d be able to be fine when I got back because I was on the track about a week before conference. The only thing that felt a little off was my conditioning, but that’s because I hadn’t ran in awhile.”

The injury was really the first time in his career that Jones had to overcome some sort of adversity. Not only did he do it with flying colors, but the senior also showed and provided an example to the other members of the Southmont boys program that success doesn’t come easy, you have to bust your tail off for it to find you.

“For some of our guys to see what Trent went through, that’s something that will stick with our kids,” Hannum said. “Just because you are faced with adversity, doesn’t mean you can’t rise above it. That’s exactly what Trent did this year and the rest of our team really saw what the sport meant to him and how hard he worked to get back. Trent can be an ambassador to our younger kids for the track program without a doubt.”

Jones name will get mentioned alongside the likes of a Brooks Long as the best runners to ever come through the Southmont track program. While many people will remember the records and accolades, Jones wants his named to be remembered for a slightly different reason.

“The track part will stick out obviously,” he said. “But I want to be known as someone who was willing to stick out both athletically and personally. I’ve always been the type of guy to talk to people. I want people to know that I worked hard for what came to me. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I went for it.”

There’s no doubt that Jones will be remembered for his work ethic and determination on the track. While his high school career has officially come to an end, his track career still has some time before it’s concluded. Jones has signed to run at Indiana State, one of the premier track programs in the state.

There’s still chapters to be written and the Mountie faithful, along with many others will be sure to follow along as Jones will look to make an impact as a Sycamore.

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