WHEELING - Wheeling Jesuit University's Stewart Jones and Olivia Lent swept the WVIAC Track Athlete of the Year Awards as announced by the league's office.
"Stew and Olivia are very deserving of this honor," head coach Ricky Moore said. "Both worked extremely hard all year (offseason and season), and as a result, performed at a very high level."
Jones, a junior from Weir High School, flew to a seventh-place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field National Championships in Pueblo, Colo., crossing the finish line in 9:19.95.
For his effort, he garnered All-American accolades.
Prior to the national meet, Jones earned all-region honors in two events, the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the 5,000 meter run.
He earned the fastest time recorded by a WVIAC athlete and posted a WJU school record of 8:56.60 in the steeplechase. He won the steeplechase at the WVIAC Championship, and currently holds the steeplechase meet record with a time of 9:14.07. Jones scored points in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, 5,000, 1,500 and the indoor mile run.
"This award just adds to an outstanding year for Stew," Moore remarked.
"I just can't say enough about his passion, drive and work ethic which shapes his personality and good heart."
Jones established the indoor mile run time twice with times of 4:12.90 and 4:11.35, respectively. He also set and reset the 1,500 record at 3:57.03 and finished the season with a time of 3:56.48.
Lent had a phenomenal season.
The junior from Zanesville set multiple school records on her way to an all-region bid in the 400. She set the 400 standard of 55.51 at the Campbell Wright Open. Lent won four conference championships at the WVIAC meet and earned the meet's MVP Award. She currently holds WJU records in the 200 and 400 and is a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, who established the school standard multiple times throughout the year.
"Olivia was on a mission this year. She dedicated herself to become faster and did everything which was required to to so," said Moore. "She put in a lot of extra time to compete at this level with weight room and nutrition regiment."