Top Performer: Cerington Jones

NEW UNDERWOOD, S.D. — Cerington Jones has accomplished a lot during her high school career.

But one thing is for sure.

The 18-year-old bound for college has left a lasting legacy at New Underwood High School.

Cerington Jones is busy preparing to compete in her final state track meet.

The recent New Underwood graduate finds it hard to believe.

“So having the end of my high school career come is a little, it’s scary,” said Cerington Jones. “But it’s exciting because I know I’m going to move onto the next level.”

It seemed like yesterday when Jones burst on the scene back in 2016 as a seventh grader.

That year, Jones qualified for the state track championships and won her first state title in the 4-by-400 meter relay.

“She loved track and field from seventh grade on,” said New Underwood track coach Stacy Finkbeiner. “It was something that she was fast. She could jump. She just had the natural ability. When you see that, it’s just something that a coach longs to have in an athlete.”

Cerington Jones

Cerington Jones

It certainly has been an impressive run for Jones over the past six years.

She has won a total of five state championships, along with several conference and regional titles.

Jones credits her family, teammates and coaches for her success.

“They push me to be better everyday in every sport I do,” said Jones. “Anything I do from school to track to basketball to volleyball. All of the above.”

Jones continues to work hard to make her final high school track season a memorable one, after COVID-19 robbed her and many athletes a chance to compete a year ago.

“I feel like we had to replace a season,” said Jones. “To make up for something that we had lost and that’s not just me. I feel like it’s the entire nation. We have something to prove this year.”

The state championships won’t be the final time Jones competes in track.

She will continue her athletic career next year at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

“I want to see collegiate level competition first hand,” Jones added. “I’ve watched collegiate track and I’ll finally have the opportunity to be a part of collegiate track.”   

But Jones has certainly left her mark at New Underwood High School.

In fact, she has etched her name into the record books.

“She’s involved in seven of our school records and then five state titles in the years she’s been running for us,” Finkbeiner said.   

“Records are made to be broken and I don’t want to be the person that New Underwood is just solely known for because there’s other people there,” said Jones. “There’s other great kids and students there and athletes that should be recognized, as well. So I want New Underwood to be known as a place that makes not only like great athletes, but great people.”

Congratulations to Cerington Jones for being named a News Center 1 Top Performer.

Cerington Jones Plaque

Top Performer Plaque is provided by Vanway Trophy and Award in Rapid City.

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Categories: High School, Sports, Top Performer