ABILENE - The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association added to Nick Jones' growing list of career achievements on Friday when the organization named him the NCAA Division II South Central Men's Field Athlete of the Year.
Jones has won the award three times in his career and is a candidate for the national Field Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced next week prior to the NCAA Division II outdoor championship meet in Pueblo, Colo.
Jones is ranked No.1 in the nation in both the discus throw and shot put going into the national meet and is the favorite to win the discus and will be in the hunt for his first outdoor championship in the shot put.
A senior from Amarillo, Jones was named the Lone Star Conference's Most Outstanding Male Field Athlete of their championships after winning the shot, placing third in the discus, and sixth in the javelin. Jones has also been listed this year as receiving mention for The Bowerman watch list.
Jones will be searching for history next week as he tries to become the first male athlete in NCAA history (regardless of division) to win four national championships in the discus. He won the title as a freshman in 2008 and again as a sophomore in 2009 before red-shirting in 2010. He returned last year and won his third title in record-setting fashion as his winning mark of 199-4 set a new meet record.
A win in the discus would also make him only the second athlete in NCAA history (regardless of division or gender) to win four national titles in the discus joining former UCLA women's great Seilala Sua, who won titles for the Bruins from 1997-2000.
Jones could also become the 24th athlete in NCAA history (regardless of division or gender) to win four national outdoor championships in an event. Four former ACU greats are already on the list: Freddie Williams (men's 800 meters, 1984-87); Ann Foster (women's triple jump 1984-87); Yolanda Henry (women's high jump (1984-87); and Delloreen Ennis-London (women's 100 meter hurdles, 1996-99).
FOUR TITLES IN A CAREER (Same Event)
Steve Prefontaine, Oregon, 3-mile run (1970, 71, 72, 73)
Scott Neilson, Washington, Hammer (1976, 77, 78, 79)
Suleiman Nyambui, UTEP, 10,000 meters (1979, 80, 81, 82)
Balazs Kiss, USC, Hammer (1993, 94, 95, 96)
Freddie Williams, ACU, 800 meters (1984, 85, 86, 87)
Vladimir Golias, Central Missouri, 3000 Steeplechase (1998, 99, 2000, 01)
Barry King, Ashland, 800 meters (1974, 75, 76, 77)
Shawn Watson, Mount Union, Long Jump (1996, 97, 98, 99)
Chaz Clemons, Lincoln (Pa.), 100 meters (2000, 01, 02, 03)
Nick Symmonds, Willamette, 800 meters (2003, 04, 05, 06)
Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, 1500 meters (1987, 88, 89, 90)
Seilala Sua, UCLA, Discus (1997, 98, 99, 2000)
Angela Williams, USC, 100 meters (1999, 2000, 01, 02)
Jacquelyn Johnson, Arizona State, Heptathlon (2004, 06, 07, 08)
Ann Foster, ACU, Triple Jump (1984, 85, 86, 87)
Yolanda Henry, ACU, High Jump (1984, 85, 86, 87)
Teena Colebrook, Cal Poly, 800 meters (1987, 88, 89, 90)
Elva Dryer, Western State, 3000 meters (1993, 94, 95, 96)
Delloreen Ennis-London, ACU, 100 hurdles (1996, 97, 98, 99)
Kim Oden, Nebraska Wesleyan, High Jump (1989, 90, 91, 92)
Eleena Zhelezov, Brandeis, Triple Jump, 1992, 93, 94, 95)
Amber James, Wheaton (Mass.), 400 meters (2001, 02, 03, 04)
Darcell Edwards, McMurry, Triple Jump (2001, 02, 03, 04)