Spring Sport Senior Night: Claire Jones
Writer's note: The Graham Leader is continuing to take submissions from senior spring sports athletes who missed out on having a senior night due to COVID-19. Spring sports seniors are invited to send a senior letter and a picture to email@example.com
Claire Jones is a four-year member of the Lady Blues track team. After being sidelined by an injury her freshman year, things picked up quickly in her sophomore year. In her sophomore and junior years, Jones earned back-to-back trips to the state track meet in Austin as a member of the 4x200 relay team. In the winter she was a member of the Lady Blues basketball team. After high school Jones plans to attend Abilene Christian University in the fall to major in communications. She intends to be an advocate for Type One Diabetes.
This is her senior letter:
“As I sit here trying to reflect over the past four years at Graham High School, I am overwhelmed with a wave of pride. Little things in life have brought me as much joy as being a Lady Blue, representing the blue and red, and seeing the town’s support. Nothing will ever dull the love I have for my hometown and in our current situation I have learned to love it more. This community is railing around the class of 2020- especially those of us who were involved in spring sports. With all of the encouragement you have provided me, Graham, I want to return the favor.
Don’t get me wrong- there is not much I wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice to be on the track with my girls again. I yearn for the adrenaline rush that comes when you step onto the track. However, several years from now when I look back at my high school career, I will only be flooded with memories of triumph and joy. Here are some of the ones I will hold dearest.
My freshmen year I suffered a pretty nasty quad injury. I was devastated not to be able to compete, but Coach Walton allowed me to help time and “manage” the team. That taught me that patience is key and injuries do not mean endings. My sophomore year was one I will never forget. We came out of that season district champs and state qualifiers in the 800-meter relay. To be able to run in Austin with teammates was like a dream we did not want to be awakened from. So, we kept dreaming, working, wanting. My junior year, last year, we ended up in the same boat. District champs, running the 4x2 in Austin, and this time we added area champs to the list too (for the first time ever might I add). When I look back on track, standing on the podium with Summer, Rosie, Chloe, and Alli after qualifying for state will be the two standout moments. Running in front of a roaring Mike A. Myers will follow that. Qualifying for state taught me that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Adversity is there to be overcome- you must strive to do so.
Graham, you have given me countless memories. As much as I hope, pray, and wish to stand on the track with my girls one last time, I can’t help but have an eerie feeling that it is over. So, as I walk away and leave my spikes with my red and blue to head for Abilene, I want to say thank you. You make me proud to be a Lady Blue- and that I will always be.”