BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– University of Colorado’s Dani Jones only competed in four races this spring but it was enough for the senior to be recognized with an impressive honor.
On Wednesday, Jones was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Female Track Athlete of the Year. She also won the Cross Country athlete of the year award in 2018. She is the 8th women in history to win both awards and she joins Jenny Simpson as the only CU Buffs to win multiple athlete of the year awards.
“I’m really excited to win this award,” said Jones. “The women I join went on to do really great things…That makes me excited and hopeful for the future, which is especially nice during this time.”
Jones’ first race of the season was on Jan.31st at the Colorado Invitational where she anchored the distance medley relay and ran the 2nd fastest time in school history. The very next day she broke CU’s 42-year-old school record in the 800m.
Fast forward a week at the Milrose games where Jones competed in the women’s Wanamaker mile. Jones ran the 2nd fastest mile in school history behind Jenny Simpson’s NCAA record. Her time of 4:27:88 was the fastest women’s mile in the NCAA this season.
One week later, Jones ran the 3rd fastest 5,000m in the entire nation. She also became the 9th-fastest performer in NCAA history and is the only female athlete in the top-10 in NCAA history in both the mile and the 5,000 on a 200-meter track.
“Those were 15 days that were really special and really fun,” said Jones. “To me it didn’t feel like 15 days because it more like a year of hard work.”
Jones ends her career in Boulder as a 4-time NCAA champion, tied for the most in school history with 5 other student-athletes.