Ke’airra Jones will continue to compete in track on the collegiate level

Published 7:49 pm Saturday, May 19, 2007

If setting a new state record in the high jump with a 5’10” jump was not enough, then signing a track scholarship with Mississippi State University was just icing on the cake for Natchez High track standout Ke’airra Jones.

Jones has been a part of the Natchez high track program for six years, and has not finished lower than first in a high jump event in three years. For her efforts she has been awarded a scholarship a track scholarship to Mississippi State.

“I love to high jump, so to go to college and to still be able to do it is a good thing, “ Jones said.

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Natchez High track coach Larry Wesley said he is confident Jones can handle jumping on a collegiate level.

“She is going to do quite well. Even what she is doing right now will beat most college jumpers,” he said. “She is up there with the best, and her career ended very well on the high school level.”

Over the course of her career, Jones was a four-year track letterman, MVP on the track team and was nominated for the Pop Star award in track, which goes to one of the top three track athletes in the state.

“Being nominated for the Pop Star award means so much. I really worked hard, and to be acknowledged for it is definitely a good thing.

Jones was also a four-year letterman on the Lady Bulldogs basketball team and was a four-year all-district selection.

Her only qualms about finishing her high school track career was that she was unable to do it with Candice Frye and Lacolony Oliver, who were both injured this season. Jones said her first championship ring was won with her two friends, and having to stay in a hotel room at the state track championships was hard without her friends.

Both Frye and Oliver will be attending Jackson State in the fall, and Jones said she will miss them very much.

Jones said her only other concern will be making the transition from high school to college.

“In high school, you get used to a certain life. It is going to be hard getting used to something different,” she said. “Starting as an underdog again is going to be hard.”

But Wesley said he is not worried.

“The sky is the limit for her if she continues to work,” he said. “I expect great things from her.”