Rylee Jones: “Running Gives Me A Sense Of Belonging”


Written by: Riley Wilson, Reporter

Sophomore Rylee Jones is the top runner for the girls’ cross country team and has been since her freshman year. Medaling in just about every race she competes in, Jones is very devoted and fond of the sport of running. Jones began her career at a very young age.

“When I was about six years old, my parents were very big into running. I remember joining them on one of their runs and I just haven’t stopped running since,” Jones said. 

Although the race is not always easy for her, the accomplishment of making it through a challenging race gives Jones the feeling she can do just about anything.

“I think running is fun for me because it gives me a sense of belonging and I love competing in races because I’m a highly competitive person,” Jones said. 

Running four miles a day is not the only way Jones has become the runner that she is. Jones keeps a steady diet of fruits and veggies. Packing down food with lots of carbohydrates and proteins as well as lots of hydrating before races are a big part of her diet. Not only this but every morning before races she has a rice cake topped with peanut butter and bananas. She swears it has never failed her. Choosing health-benefiting foods is not the only thing that helps Jones prepare for a race.

“I try to listen to upbeat music and have fun with my teammates to keep myself calm. You have to keep a clear head before races,” Jones said. 

She also has a few isotonic drinks the night before and even falls asleep listening to a race visualization hypnotizer. These are all of the many steps she takes for her meets. Right now though, the only thing on Jones’s mind is her goals for the season. She hopes to state qualify and break 20:00 in the 5K.

After high school, she dreams of going to run at Arkansas University and eventually running the Boston Marathon. “Wherever I go I know I will be happy as long as I am competing and running for as long as I can,” said Jones.