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Jermaine Jones of Saint Augustine’s University was named Division II Outdoor National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.Jermaine JonesJones

“I was speechless when I found out,” Jones said. “Then I started thanking God because he has been blessing me on the track these past months.”

The award capped an amazing few days for the Wilmington, N.C., native. Jones ran anchor leg on the winning 4x100 relay team which set the DII record twice at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Pueblo, Colo. The Falcons ran 39.01 during Thursday’s preliminaries and followed up with a time of 38.91 in Saturday’s finals. The 4x100 team, which includes Taffawee Johnson (Jr./St. Ann, Jamaica), Ramaan Ansley (Sr./Philadelphia, Pa.) and Burkheart Ellis, Jr. (Fr./Raleigh, N.C.), are the only relay squad in DII history to run under 39 seconds.

Jones also won the 200 dash and finished third in the 100 dash on Saturday in career-best times of 20.57 and 10.34, respectively. His running helped lead the Falcons to the NCAA DII men’s outdoor crown over the weekend. Last Wednesday, Jones received his award for winning Atlantic Region Men’s Track Athlete of the Year.

“We are proud of him,” said George Williams, the legendary St. Aug track & field head coach and athletic director who has led the Falcons to 33 NCAA DII men’s and women’s titles combined. “When you work hard, good things come your way.”

The CIAA Championships in April 2013 served as a prelude to the DII Championships for Jones, who was named CIAA Most Valuable Men’s Track Performer after claiming both the 100 and 200 titles and running on the winning 4x100 relay team. Jones had a breakout season as a sophomore after showing promise as a freshman when he earned all-conference honors in the 100 dash. This year was Jones’ first at the DII Championship meet.

“The key this year was working harder,” Jones said. “Listening to the coaches more and taking it more seriously. I thank God, my parents, the coaches and my whole team, both women and men. My teammates supported me a lot because there was a time when I didn’t want to finish workouts but they got me through it. I wasn’t expecting to get [the award], but Coach Williams kept telling me to keep working hard and everything will pay off.”

Jones is the third person from St. Aug chosen national USTFCCCA outdoor athlete of the year since the award's inception in 2006. Joe Kindred was named men’s top field athlete in 2008 and 2009 and Kwonya Ferguson won the women’s field athlete award in 2007.

A two-sport standout, Jones excelled in football the past three years as a wide receiver for the Falcons. He has 10 career touchdown receptions, mainly on deep passes.

“We are glad football let us have him the past two years,” Williams said. “It is great to have him.”


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