Union Local's Collin Jones can see the prize at the end.
Now, it's just a matter of getting there.
Knowing it's his last chance, Jones has placed reaching the Division II state track and field championship at the top of his remaining to-do-list in his high school career.
All focus can be there because he's eliminated the decision about what he'll do next year. Jones has signed to continue his track and academic careers at Capital University in Columbus in the fall.
"Getting to the state meet is what I've used as motivation since I started working out over the summer, through the winter and thus far during the season," Jones said. "After finishing so close to making it last year, it's something that I want more than anything this season."
Jones is a versatile contributor for the Jets. Primarily, he's ran the high and intermediate hurdles and he's also a standout pole vaulter.
That versatility made him an attractive recruit for the Capital coaching staff.
"The coaches have told me I could be used in the decathlon next year, but I could be in the short and long hurdles, too," Jones said.
The ability to run track was big for Jones, but it wasn't by any means the only factor for the Jets' standout who placed in all three of his specialties at last weekend's OVAC meet.
"I really liked the academics (at Capital), but I really liked the track and field coach," Jones said. "The academic opportunities that are available at Capital are very important to me."
At the aforementioned OVAC meet, Jones tied for fourth in the pole vault, fifth in the high hurdles and third in the intermediates. For the season, he ranks third in the entire OVAC with a 40.79.
A season ago, Jones qualified for the regional in both hurdles, finishing fifth in the highs and seven in the intermediates.
"I feel as if my high school career has gone very well," Jones said. "It's taken a lot of work, but it's all worth it seeing where I am now in comparison to my freshman year."
Regardless of how this season finishes for Jones, he knows there's plenty he must improve upon before arriving in Columbus.
"I need to start hitting the weight room hard and continue running to keep getting faster," Jones said. "I know there is going to be a lot of weight training in the workouts next year, so why not get a head start on it?"
Along with track, Jones was also a solid contributor for the Jets' basketball team.
Jones is a standout in the classroom. He's been chosen for the Scholar-Athlete Award, given by the United States Army.
Collin, who is planning to major in either athletic training or exercise science, is the son of Carol and Rick Jones of Bethesda.
Staskey can be reached at email@example.com