Austin Jones Standing Out for Santa Clara's Cross Country Team

By, Steven Hobbs '11

As the first cross country race of the season inches closer, junior Austin Jones (AJ) is more than prepared for the competition to commence. The native of Portland, Oregon discussed his basketball skills and his success in and out of the classroom.
Santaclarabroncos.com gives Broncos fans an inside look at Austin Jones in anticipation of the cross country season in the fall.

SCU:  Which do you enjoy more? The cross country or the track season?

AJ:
It's a close call but I think cross country has the edge for me. I really like the idea of racing 200 guys at once.

SCU:  What is your favorite event to run?

AJ: I think I'll go with the 8k in Cross Country. It's a nice distance where you can kind of relax early and then run guys down over the last two miles or so.

SCU:  If you could play any other sport at Santa Clara what would it be.

AJ: Definitely basketball. I was a point guard back in the day, and became a starter in fifth grade for my St. Pius X team because I could dribble with both hands.

SCU:  Who is your favorite athlete to watch in cross country or track? Who is your favorite athlete in any sport?

AJ:
Robbie Reid for both.

SCU:  How did you get started in cross country?

AJ:
I ran track for the first time in seventh grade and tried to start as a sprinter, but it quickly became apparent that short-distance wasn't my cup of tea. So my coach told me to try the 800, and I really liked it. I started high school track sophomore year and really got good over the summer before senior year.

SCU:  You came in as an undeclared engineering major? Are you still an engineering major?

AJ:
I actually switched to my major to physics last fall. I'm also planning on picking up minors in economics  and mathematics.

SCU:  You were named a WCC Fall All-Academic Honorable Mention. What has helped you to manage your time with two different sports and also academics?

AJ:
I think I came in pretty well prepared to handle the balance because I did it for a lot of my high school career as well. It took some time to get used to the different format of classes, but I've been lucky to have some great professors who have made learning really enjoyable.

SCU:  How has your summer been?

AJ: The summer has been good. I stayed down at school and I've pretty much been running a lot and catching up on some reading. I spent a week at home in Portland, and I'm going to visit Houston for a week, but I'm really looking forward to the start of preseason later this month.

SCU:  Do you have a favorite song that you listen to or play in your head when you are running? If not, what keeps you going while you are running?

AJ: It really depends on the day. I don't run with music ever because running really acts as a sort of escape for me where I just let my mind wander and think big. But there's usually a song in my head. Yesterday, I think it was Weezer, but I listen to almost everything, minus country.

SCU:  What is your favorite part about being on the cross country team?

AJ: Definitely the team atmosphere. Pretty much everyone is friends with each other, and we get along really well which makes the training much more enjoyable.

Also, I want to give a shout out to Coach Montoro and his wife, Amanda, and their new baby Maribel.