Freshman Jones races to No. 1 and leads by example at Key 1992 ALL-CARROLL COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS Girls Runner of the Year

November 16, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Ali Jones has been a lot of things to a lot of people around the Francis Scott Key girls cross country team this season.

The freshman rose to the No. 1 position on the team in the fifth meet of the year.

She has been a virtual savior for the once-struggling Eagles program, a coach on the field for Jim Bullock and a motivator for every girl who starts a race for Key.

A scene moments after the Carroll County girls championship race ended at Western Maryland College Oct. 30 was typical of how much Jones means to Key.

She had just finished outrunning teammate Shannon Hugg for first place in the meet and was trying to collect herself when teammate Jenny Suidikas struggled across the finish line in 25th place.

Jones went right to Suidikas, hugging her and offering encouragement at a time when she could have been savoring her victory.

For these reasons, Jones has been chosen The Baltimore Sun's 1992 Girls cross country Runner of the Year in Carroll County.

"Ali's had a lot of self-confidence after becoming No. 1 at the Frank Keyser Invitational in Boonsboro," said Bullock of the day Jones supplanted Hugg as the top runner on the team.

The sudden emergence of Jones, who is in her first season of cross country after a youth track career, has prompted Hugg to work harder to get back the top spot.

Jones and Hugg have put on some spectacular races to the finish line since the Frank Keyser meet, with Jones winning them all.

In the county championships, Jones finished 2 seconds ahead of Hugg.

"This kind of competition is healthy for our team," said Bullock, "as long as both runners remember that a team win is the most important thing."

The scary thing for county opponents is that Jones will be around for three more years.

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