STEUBENVILLE - Franciscan University of Steubenville Athletics has named Bill Jones and Nicole Krajewski the recipients of the John Lemal Director of Athletics Award. The award is given to one male and one female athlete every year as the department's MVP.
"Over the last year, Bill and Nicole have demonstrated the athletic excellence that we're striving for at Franciscan," said Barons Director of Athletics Chris Ledyard. "Their efforts and achievements deserve to be celebrated."
Jones was a natural choice for the award after becoming a two-time All-American and the holder of the second-fastest 10K in the history of D-III during the track season.
Jones finished second (5K) and sixth (10K) at the NCAA D-III National Championships, becoming the first All-American at FUS.
"Your heart has to be in it, " Jones said. "I wanted to become the best athlete I could and make a statement that the athletics program at Franciscan can become something great. I hope that people realize that this level of achievement is out there for anyone."
Jones, who is 11 seconds away from the Olympic trials in the 10,000, competed at the national championship level four times and plans to continue his running career.
Krajewski became the first female to compete at the national level in any sport in the history of FUS, when she ran in the 2013 Division III Cross Country National Championships. Krajewski also won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Concerence championships and placed 14th in the Great Lakes Regional meet.
"Every race I race is for God and making it to nationals was for his glory," Krajewski said. "It's about working my hardest for God, and if I don't give it my all then I'm not using the gift that he's given me to its fullest."