Although she's only a junior, Jocelyn Jones is already an accomplished fine arts student, singing in the a capella choir and playing violin in the Brainerd High School orchestra.
Jones can add "accomplished swimmer" to her resume following her performance in last weekend's Section 8, Class 2A meet.
After being the fourth-fastest Brainerd Warrior in the 50-yard freestyle in the conference meet, Jones splashed her way to a runner-up finish in the section to qualify for state.
Entering the prelims she was seeded eighth but was confident she could move up since she prospers as workouts begin to taper off.
"The past two years I've dropped a lot of time and done well at sections," Jones said of the 50 free prelims. "I just thought about kicking hard. I needed to get a good start and a good turn. That's important in a sprint.
"(In the finals) I did everything to make myself nervous. I knew I could go faster. It was kind of a blur. It goes by so fast."
Sport -- Swimming
Events -- 50 free, 100 free, relays
Year -- Junior
Age -- 17
Height -- 5-foot-5
Weight -- 142 pounds
Other sports -- Track and field
Memorable sports achievement -- Qualifying for state in 50 free
Grade-point average -- 3.4
Favorite subject -- Physics, music
Favorite musical group -- Aerosmith
Favorite food -- Italian
Favorite TV show -- "That 70s Show"
Hobbies -- Traveling, waterskiing, inline skating, downhill skiing
Future plans -- Attend University of Washington, major in business
Athlete she admires -- Teammate Erica Campbell
Parents -- Grace Jones and Bob Jones
Jones was surprised to qualify for state but didn't doubt she could.
"The past two years the end of the season has always been tough on me," she said. "I get worn out, therefore I don't perform as well, then at the section I do pretty good. If I did have any doubts I didn't talk or think about them. I wanted to have all positive thoughts.
"I was confident in my taper. I attribute that to my coaches because they've figured me out. They know how my season goes. They give me the right taper."
Warriors coach Dan Anderson said Jones is blessed with a "ton of talent" and strength but training wears her down.
"Training just catches up to her," he said. "She actually goes backwards and needs rest for her muscles to recover. She finally gets that rest at section time, and boy did she look good. She had a lot of pop in her stroke, a little more hand speed. You could tell she felt really good in the water."
Anderson thought Jones, along with Amanda Bateman and Krystal Halverson, had a chance to qualify for state.
"In a perfect world all three of them would make the state cuts, but I knew that wouldn't happen," Anderson said. "I knew they had the ability. In my mind it came down to whether Jocelyn was rested enough or we were in danger of resting her too much. I got lucky, and she hit it."
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