Former Lakeside football and track standout Galen Jones is starting to make a name for himself in the track and field world.
Jones, a sophomore at Coastal Carolina University, is one of the nation's top competitors in the hammer throw. The last big-time track and field athlete from Lakeside, Reese Hoffa, went from high school standout to college star to U.S. Olympian.
Jones is far from putting gold around his neck, but he has definitely come a long way.
This spring has been a big step in the right direction for Jones. In April, at the prestigious Penn Relays, Jones finished a respectable 11th with a throw of 56.06 meters. That was a career best for Jones and the second-best throw in Coastal Carolina's history.
With his performance in that meet, Jones qualified for the NCAA East Regionals in New York on May 27-28.
Jones was just warming up. A couple of weeks later at the Asics Duke Twilight, Jones easily won the hammer throw competition with a throw of 54.60 meters. He beat out competitors from big programs like Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina State. That established a new career best for Jones and has to give him some major confidence as he gears up for East Regional.
With Jones and former Evans hurdle champ Roy Cheney at Clemson and the Madebach sisters at UGA, Columbia County is beginning to make a name for itself in track and field, a sport that has long gone unnoticed in our area. Keep up the good work, Galen, and good luck at regionals.
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