Tia Jones still has ample opportunity to finish her career as the best female hurdler of all-time.
And she's just a junior.
But on Sunday, she only added to her legacy by winning the 60mH at New Balance Nationals Indoor in an astonishing 8.05 seconds, a US No. 2 mark all-time and just 0.03 seconds away from tying the national record held by Tonea Marshall.
The Walton (GA) High athlete finished third as a freshman at this same event in 2017, but was coming off an outdoor title at New Balance from June in the 100mH, a distance in which she set the national record as a freshman in 12.84 seconds.
Jone's season was inconsistent in 2017, and she never quite managed to get in a rhythm. But this indoor certainly trended in a positive direction, with Jones hammering away with some of the nation's best marks over the winter. She dropped a debut of 8.45 and proceeded to cut time to 8.50, 8.15 and 8.23. She went 8.25, 8.34 and 8.05 over three rounds at New Balance.
Not only that, but she also proved her mettle against the best competition she's ever faced, winning an incredible battle over fellow junior Grace Stark at the line of the finals. Stark also went 8.05 seconds.
Rock Canyon (CO) High senior Emily Sloan, who had set a US No. 1 of 8.07 ahead of nationals at the USA Indoor Championships, was fourth in 8.19 seconds. Jasmine Jones was third in 8.17 seconds.
Finals 1 Jones, Tia 19 Woodstock, GA 8.05J 7.477 (7.477) 2 Stark, Grace 19 White Lake, MI 8.05J 7.482 (7.482) 3 Jones, Jasmine 20 Braselton, GA 8.17F 7.598 (7.598) 4 Sloan, Emily 18 Littleton, CO 8.19F 7.606 (7.606) 5 Hicks, Jada 18 San Beenardino, CA 8.28F 7.685 (7.685) 6 Bowen, Britten 18 Ann Arbor, MI 8.34F 7.740 (7.740) 7 Ballard, Shadajah 21 Chesapeake, VA 8.47 7.843 (7.843) 8 Russell, Masai 18 Potomac, MD 9.11 8.432 (8.432)