Thompson distance runner Jace Jones ready to test his speed at the AHSAA State Indoor Track Meet

Racing for a state title

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - He’s one of the fastest milers in the nation, but no matter how fast he runs, Jace Jones said when it comes to the AHSAA State Indoor track meet, he feels the pressure.

“Yeah, a little bit, I always get a little nervous before races," the Thompson High School senior said.

Jones, who signed a scholarship with Alabama in December, ranks third in the nation in the 1,600-meter run with a 4:13.89. Jones, who gave up football in eighth grade to run cross-country and track, has since become one of the fastest miler and two-milers in the state of Alabama.

“I think last year after cross country state, I did not do very well at all. I just started working a lot harder and my coaches were giving me harder workouts, and I think that’s what turned the tables for me," Jones said.

Jones will race against his talented friend, Vestavia Hills’ Ethan Strand, in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, which is shaping up to be two of the fastest races the AHSAA has ever seen.

“This could easily be the fastest two-miler we’ve seen. Two guys going sub 9 minutes would be incredible. I know looking back to the 70’s and 80’s, the two-miler is probably the fastest we will see,” said Thompson Track Coach Mason Dye.

“Ethan has won numerous state championships, and if I win, that would be knowing I beat the best of the best in 7A,” Jones added.

The AHSAA State Indoor track meet is Friday and Saturday at the Birmingham Crossplex.

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