Talk about keeping up with the Joneses.
Elk Lake freshman Krista Jones followed in the footsteps of her siblings by bringing home an individual medal from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Jones covered the 3.1-mile Hershey Parkview Course in 20 minutes, 52 seconds to finish 17th in the Class A girls race. The top 25 individuals in each classification earn state medals.
Isabell Sagar, a senior from Loyalsock, finished first with a time of 19:12.
Jones was continuing a family tradition.
Luke Jones was a three-time state medalist (2010-12), including second-place finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Kenzie Jones earned a state medal in 2014. Keri Jones was part of two Lady Warriors teams that were state runners-up.
Peyton Jones, an Elk Lake senior, won a state medal last year and picked up his second Saturday with a 15th-place finish in the Class A boys race.
Krista Jones said her brothers and sisters offered some advice for her first state meet.
“Luke told me that I needed to get out quick because the course would be muddy,” Jones said. “Peyton (Friday) night was trying to keep my nerves down. He told me it’s just another 5K, don’t think of it as anything else. That helped.”
Jones was able to get out quick. She settled into a medal position in the first mile, running 6:08. She was still there after two miles (13:14), then picked up a couple of spots in the final mile.
Elk Lake senior Shyanne Bennett finished in 50th place, with a time of 21:51, and junior Sadie Bosscher completed the course in 22:47, landing her in 102nd place.
In the boys class A race, Elk Lake senior Peyton Jones placed 15th in Class A in 17:14. The first place medal went to Jack Miller, of Jenkintown, who finished in 16:33.
Jones improved his state finish of a year ago by four positions - 19th to 15th.
He said the key was getting off the starting line hard.
“Obviously, the course was in poor condition. Real muddy and stuff,” Peyton Jones said. “I wanted to definitely keep a consistent pace through the third mile, then increase my stride and pick it up a little bit with about 1000 meters to go and finish strong.
“It means a lot to get a second state medal. It’s such an honor at a meet like this. It shows your hard work pays off and it’s worth it.”
Teammate Noah Staff, a junior running in his first state race, ran an impressive 19:47 for 162 place.
In the Class AA race, Tunkhannock Area’s Peter Sayre finished the course in 18:27, which was good for 106th place. Grove City senior Jonah Powell crossed the line in a blistering first place time of 16:29.
Because of the heavy amount of rain this year, the PIAA altered the course for Saturday’s championships. It removed the final steep incline heading to the finish line, known as “Poop-Out Hill.”
Instead, the course that was used was the one that the PIAA Foundation Invitational in September was run.
“In some ways this (course) was better,” Peyton Jones said. “It allows you to get your legs back together before you go down the straight stretch toward the finish.
“But also, ‘Poop-Out Hill’ is crazy going up it. Everyone is right there looking at you, screaming at you. It’s an adrenaline shot to get you through the last little bit.”
Holy Cross’ Andrew Healey, who finished in second overall with a time of16:50, agreed.
“I kind of like the course last year with the hill at the end,” Healey said. “Once you get up that hill, you know you’ve got to sprint for the finish. But the new course is just as difficult.”