SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Junior Mason Jones posted the second fastest 10K time in school history as he finished in 88th place at the NCAA Division II National Championships, on Nov. 23 in Sacramento, Calif.
"Mason ran courageously," head coach Matt Levassiur said after the race. "He competed tough and will be ready to lead his teammates on a quest to build the depth we'll need to compete in Southern Indiana next year."
Jones started off the race slow, reaching the first mile in 4:43.7 (119th place) before picking up the pace to cross the 5K marker in 66th place with a time of 15:10.8. He reached his best recorded place (65th) at the 5.7K marker and held constant until the final 1.5K, where he slipped in the standings to his final placement of 88th.
Jones finished with a time of 31:27.5, knocking 31.2 seconds off his personal best time of 31:58.7, set at the NCAA South Region Championships on Nov. 17, 2018.
29.4 seconds is all that separates Jones from the 10K school record (30:58.1), which was set by Eric Walker at the 2006 National Championships in Pensacola, Fla. Jones now holds the second and fifth spots on the 10K school records list.
Top-ranked Colorado Mines won the Team National Championship with 57 points, as freshman Ezra Mutai of American International took the Individual National Championship with a time of 29:31.2. No. 5 Adams State took second as a team with 136 points wils Chico State took third with 143 pts. South Region Champions Alabama-Huntsville finished in 19th while Lee (Tenn.) and Saint Leo finished in 27th and 30th, respectively.
Jones earned his third-straight All-Region Honors earlier this season as he finished third, crossing the line in 32:22.3 (10K). His run was good enough to enter the record books as the ninth best time in an NCAA Regional Meet for the Moccasins. His third place finish is the highest for any Moccasin since Bobby Ormsby also came in third at the 2014 regional championship.
He earned his third-straight All-SSC First Team Selection after his second place finish at the 2019 SSC Championships in a time of 25:35.4 (8K). Jones led the Moccasins in every race this season finishing all six races in the top 15, four of which were in the top 10.
Jones highlighted his season by capturing the 8K school record with a blistering 24:14.5 run at the Royals Cross Country Challenge on Oct. 11. Jones, who formerly held the third fastest 8K time in school history (24:36 at the Queens City Invitational on Sept. 28, 2018), moves above Bobby Ormsby's 2016 time of 24:28.91 and Ben Martucci's 2010 time of 24:26.43. This is his first school record in cross country and his second overall (Track: 10,000 meter run).