Kaiyah Jones. Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD.

Kaiyah Jones, who just graduated from W.T. White High School, became a mother, worked through a busy schedule and kept up with her academics over the past couple years.

Jones succeeded as a track runner, being a part of the 4×200 relay team that qualified for regionals and the 4×400 team that won the district championship. She was also a district finalist in the 800-meter relay and a two-time regional qualifier in the 400 meter. Her journey as a runner will continue as she joins the team at the University of the Southwest in New Mexico next fall with a partial athletic scholarship.

While she was competing on the track team, she was working nights at a movie theater throughout her senior year.

“My shift would start almost immediately after leaving school, and sometimes I wouldn’t get out until 2 a.m., depending on when the last movie ended,” Jones told Dallas ISD. “I’d go to practice for track and cross country the next day at 7 a.m., every day, and do it all over again.”

Jones had to stop running a few months into her pregnancy, but she didn’t lose her connection with the team. Coach Michael Martin, who’s led the girls track team at W.T. White for 13 years, made her the manager.

“When she told us she was pregnant, we embraced it,” Martin said. “Her family, her teachers and I did what we had to do to get her through, and she did the same. I told her: ‘We’re going to get you through this, but we’re not going to let you quit.’”

After her daughter Legacy was born in July 2020, she was right back to running.

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