Andrew Jones from North Hall High School has signed with Virginia to run underneath legendary coach Vin Lananna. Jones is one of the finest distance runners this state has produced, showing improvement each season and is a threat to qualify for Foot Locker Nationals. Andrew is the reigning 3A state champ in cross country, and if the 2020 track season had not been interrupted by COVID-19, was the odds on favorite to sweep the 1600/3200 meter races down in Albany. Proof positive of this was a video in which Jones and Justin Wachtel both went sub 9:00 in a time trial this past May.
Andrew tweeted earlier, "Excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Virginia. I'm very thankful that God has blessed me with such an incredible opportunity. Thank you to my family, coaches, friends, teachers, and anyone else who has helped me achieve this dream. This journey has been full of ups and downs, but I love this sport and have no regrets. Looking forward to starting the next chapter, and chasing even bigger goals."
Q&A with Andrew Jones: (by Coach Sam Borg)
I talked to a lot of great schools, but it came down to the coach. Vin Lananna has numerous national championships under his belt and has had so much success at Oregon and Stanford. He coached a lot of the runners I look up to today as Olympians. I see something special in the making at Virginia and I think we will be a serious contender in the NCAA in the next 4 years. I really like the culture at Virginia, and I feel like everyone is there for the same reason, and that is to win a national championship.
What was your recruitment like and what made you decide on Virginia?
Talk about your progression as a runner and what it takes to get to this level.
Throughout my progression as a runner, I have learned that running is not as simple as it looks. My sophomore year, I wondered what kind of training it would take to become a division one level runner. I knew I needed to change something, or I might never reach my goal. I began to study the sport more and understand the science behind training, along with how important each day of training is in its own way. After understanding and becoming more consistent in my training, I started to really notice my fitness improving. To this day, I am still studying the sport and trying to find out different ways to improve, but I feel like these are the key things that got me to this level.
What are your goals as you finish up your senior year in XC this fall and with track and field in the Spring?
For this cross country season, I have many goals, but I would probably say my biggest goal this year is to qualify for footlocker nationals and perform well at the national meet. I also would love to win another state championship. For track, I want to really focus on the 3200, and run even farther under 9 minutes. I'm hoping to race Arcadia and some other big track meets this year.
What are your running goals at the next level as you enter the ACC?
As I enter the ACC next year I want to help UVA win the ACC championship, and also win a national championship as a team in the next 4 years. I will be striving to become an All-Conference ACC runner and eventually an All-American in the NCAA.