Former San Marcos High track and field star Allie Jones is following in the cleat-steps of another Santa Barbara native.
Jones just missed breaking the Stanford heptathlon record that former Cate School star Tracye Lawyer set more than two decades ago while finishing second at last weekend’s Pac-12 Track and Field Championships at USC’s Loker Stadium.
Her 5,727 points came within 82 of the Stanford record that Lawyer set at the 1998 conference meet.
Lawyer, who was a CIF State champion in the high jump for the Rams, won the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the heptathlon in 1999. She captured three Pac-10 titles and was also the Pac-10 women’s soccer player of the year.
Jones, the daughter of Alan and Adrienne Jones, was also a standout soccer player when she attended San Marcos.
She sat in third place in last week’s Pac-12 heptathlon while entering the final event. She needed to beat leader Ida Eikeng of Washington in the 800 by at least 12.65 seconds and second-place Lyndsey Lopes, also of Washington, by at least 1.13 seconds, to win the title.
Jones jumped out to a big lead over Eikeng, but Lopes remained on Jones’ heels. For the sixth time in seven events, the former San Marcos star set or tied a lifetime best with a time of 2:18.62 – a three-second personal best. But while she beat Eikeng by more than 17 seconds, Lopes crossed the finish line just 0.43 seconds later.
Lopes’ time gave her a final heptathlon score of 5,735. Jones’ second-place total of 5,727 set a personal record by 455 points.
Jones, a sophomore in eligibility, came into the meet as the fifth seed with a season- and career-best of 5,272. After earning a career-best first-day score of 3,504, she kept the momentum going by tying her best long jump of 19-6 ½ (5.96m) to move from second to first, a position she held through the first two events.
Her throw of 110-0 (33.53m) in the javelin was only three feet off her best, but it was only the 10th-best of the competition and dropped to her third going into the final event.
Though Jones was a close second, her score was a national-level breakthrough. She vaulted from No. 8 on Stanford’s all-time performers’ list to No. 2, passing 1990 Pac-10 champion Peggy Odita and putting her right behind Lawyer.
Jones will take a shot at Lawyer’s record on June 9-12 when she competes at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.