The Thunder Mountain girls' cross-country team has made its mark thus far in its first year as a full squad in 2010.
After having only two runners in last year's inaugural season, the Falcons girls' team has made great strides. And leading the way for TMHS at next week's state meet is sophomore Katie Jones, the first female state qualifier in the program's history.
Born in Louisiana, Jones moved to Alaska when she was 4 years old. After moving around to different parts of the state since that time, Jones has settled in Juneau - again. She had previously lived in the city for four years, spanning 2002-2006, and has become one of Thunder Mountain's best young athletes as both a cross-country runner and soccer player.
What are some of your hobbies outside of sports?
"I really enjoy being in the outdoors. I like camping, hiking, going on bike rides and just being outside. I like hanging out with my dad because he and I are really alike. We always go out and do activities."
Do you have a favorite subject in school?
"It's definitely concert band. I'm a big music lover. I play percussion, so it's a wide variety. My favorite part is definitely the mallet."
How did you become interested in music?
"I've always liked playing music. I enjoy singing because I go to church, and so that kind of got me into it ever since I was little. I did two years of piano lessons, so when high school came along it was my first time going to public school. I wanted to give it a shot and try something similar to piano."
Do you have a career path of interest?
"I'm really hoping to get into journalism. I would like to travel the world and be a journalist for National Geographic. I really enjoy writing, reading and traveling."
How much have you progressed in your first season with the team?
"The progression has been amazing. I was really out of shape at first. Soccer did help, but it didn't get me fully there. With this, I've gotten so much more fit and my time has been progressing with each week. My mom was a previous track runner through high school and college, and she said that's really what needs to happen. I almost think it's humbling to get tired and work out more because it teaches you that not everything is easy."