At last weekend's Central Kentucky Conference Championships, he won the long jump (22 feet, 91/4 inches), triple jump (48-4) and high jump (5-10) and set meet records in both the triple and long jumps.
Earlier this year at the E.G. Plummer Invitational, he won the long jump (23-3 1/2), triple jump (49-10 1/4) and high jump (6-2). Both the long jump and triple jump marks were new meet records.
Aiming high in two best events
What Jones wants to do now is become the all-time state record holder in the long jump and triple jump, his two best events.
At last year's Class A state meet, Jones won the long jump (21-0) and triple jump (48-6) for Harrodsburg. This year he's competing in Class AA for the Titans, but the overall state records remain the same. Keith Richardson of Bryan Station set the triple jump record in 1978 with a leap of 49-3 while William White of Shelby County set the long jump record at 24- 1/2 in 1985.
"I have two marks over the state record in the triple jump. I just wish those could count instead of having to do it at the state to get the record," Jones said. "I am about where I want to be. I am actually a little farther along in the long jump this year than last year. I know I can break both those records."
What about the high jump? He competed in the state in that event last year but cleared only 5-6 and did not place.
"If I have a good day, I could win the high jump at state. That's not my best event, but I can jump with the best of them on some days. I have gone 6-4, which is not bad. I am real close to being right there with the top guys," Jones said.
Jones started cutting back on his hard workouts this week to keep his legs rested. He does technique drills and watches video to fully prepare for the region and state competitions.
Better at battling nerves
"My leg won't get healthy until the summer. After June, I am not going to do a lot until the fall to let it finally heal. It is about 90 percent now. There is still more left in me when I am fully healthy," Jones said.
He's also better at battling his nerves now than he was in past years. He still gets nervous, but not like he did.
"Every time I jump, I am nervous because I want to set records and know a lot of people are watching me. I am not as nervous as I was as a sophomore, or even last year I was so nervous I didn't always hit my mark. Now I pretty well hit my mark every time," Jones said.
Jones is not wavering in his decision to attend Division III Centre College - where high school track coaches are already speculating that he will dominate his competition from day one - rather than a traditional Division I track power.
"I made my decision based on academics with athletics second because I want to go into pre-med," Jones said. "I can go just as far athletically at Centre. I am still fully committed to Centre, but I do still get questions from people about that."
Once the state meet ends, Jones will be off to North Carolina for the prestigious Nike national competition. However, his focus remains on the state meet. "The state meet is where I really want to do my best ever more so than the Nike meet. I want to set state records in the long and triple jumps really bad," Jones said. "It would mean a lot if I could set the overall record in the triple jump. If I set the long jump record, too, that would just be even better. But I really believe I can do it in the triple jump."
Jones also knows a strong performance from him at the state could propel Mercer to its first ever state team title.
"It would be great if we could win as a team even if I don't set any records. Helping the team is more important than records at this stage. As much I as I would like to set those records, I would like our team to win even more," he said.