Jones brothers complete unique track season

REED CITY —  One Jones brother ended his Reed City sports career on Saturday at the Division 3 state finals in Comstock Park.

But the other brother is just getting started.

Senior Andre Jones and his freshman brother Phillip were on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay squads that completed at the finals.

They were joined by Nate Fasbender and Schuyler Smith in the 4x100, which has had a personal best of 43.76, plus in the 4x200 by Dillard and Smith.

A major feat for Andre and Phillip and their relay mates was breaking the school record in the 4x100.

They’ve focused mainly on relays. The undefeated 4x100 relay has obviously had the most success.

“Most definitely, we want to make a run in the 4x1 for state champion,” Andre said prior to the race. “You never know.”

They were fourth in the 4x100 (44.10) and ninth in the 4x200 (1:32.75).

Andre is the anchor for his relays, a spot that he enjoys. He’s encountered some challenging situations.

“In the 4x2 at Newaygo, me and this guy were at the same speed,” he said of a race he wound up winning.

Phillip has been the first leg in the 4x1.

“They all have pressure, but being the first one out of the blocks has probably the most pressure,” he said. “You have to get set and come out of your block perfectly and have a good step once you come out of them.”

It’s Andre’s fourth year on varsity. Both brothers also have had success over this season in the sprints.

“I talked to them earlier this year and how exciting it could be to be on the same team as your brother,” Reed City coach Brent Michell said.  “Andre ran with his (older) brother PJ when he was a senior.”

But it’s the first time for Andre and Phillip together on the high school level.

“I commented earlier how cool that would be if they qualified (together) for the state finals,” Michell said. “We’re excited. I’m happy for them.”

Obviously, both brothers are fast.

“Andre, as a freshman, was very similar to Phillip,” Michell said. “Phillip has a desire to be really good. He never wants to be taken out of the 4x100 relay. He likes it. Every time he runs it he runs it better.

“They actually run different. Phillip is not afraid to go out and get after it early in the race. Andre has a bigger tendency to want to save some energy toward the end and make sure he doesn’t want to run out of energy. Phillip has no fear right now. He gives it all he’s got. At the end, he’ll give until he’s got no more.”

“We’re definitely different,” Andre said, while adding with a smile, “I’m faster.”

“But I’m getting there,” Phillip added. “For me, I’m a freshman, and being a part of a relay team full of seniors is nerve-racking. It’s amazing.

Both also are football and basketball players. Phillip was on the JV level for both sports this season.

Andre, a running back in high school, said he’ll be going to Ferris State University to play football and is looking to be on offense. He’s a walk-on so he’ll have to earn a spot.

Phillip ran middle school track in the past.

“From middle school to high school, it’s a whole different mindset,” Phillip said. “It took me awhile to get into my comfort zone. After that, I kicked in and got comfortable.”

He’s also done long jump, along with the relays.

“I’m still progressing and getting better,” Phillip said of the long jump. “I have a good sprint to the board and good strength in planting my foot.”