LOS LUNAS — During a small ceremony, Los Lunas High School swimmer Joshua Jones officially signed with Adams State University, a division II university in Alamosa Colo., to attend and compete this fall.
“I really wasn’t expecting to swim in college until the opportunity came up very, very late in this year,” Jones said.
“It felt like the stars aligned, it felt like the place I needed to be and I took the offer. They say opportunity doesn’t knock twice, so I had to take it.”
He added that St. Andrews University in North Carolina was another top contender for his post secondary education, but said he preferred a college a little closer to home.
“Family is very important to me,” Jones said. “I think I’d lose my head if I was that far away from them.”
Jones’ dad, Mike pointed out that Adams State is only a four-hour drive away from their home in Valencia County. He added his job occasionally takes him to Alamosa, so he will check up on Jones often.
“We’re happy because he was really wanting to go to Texas Tech, Penn State, Hawaii, so it’s a little bit closer,” Mike said.
“Ok, four hours away, we can do that.”
Jones began swimming at age 10, following a friend who swam for the local club team, Lobo Aquatics.
“I started swimming because I figured I wasn’t too good at any other sports, but really good at swimming, so might as well pursue that,” Jones said with a laugh.
He took a break when he reached high school after becoming interested in the Los Lunas High School football program.
“His older cousin really wanted him to play football, so it’s kind of interesting. It was all about football for the last four years, but he’s always been super talented at swim,” Jones’ dad, said.
“He’s really shown a much bigger passion for swimming his senior year. It kind of came out of nowhere to us.”
He began competing in swim again during his junior year at Los Lunas. Jones said that his specialty is backstroke, the stroke that got him the scholarship to Adams, but he also swims in the boys relay as well as the 100 meter butterfly.
Jones added the butterfly stroke is new to him and is open to learning new strokes at Adams State.
“I mean really, anything but breast stroke,” Jones laughed. “It’s just my slowest stroke. I don’t like it, it’s not fun.”
While he is considering many different career paths, Jones said he is thinking about majoring in either communications or journalism at the moment.
Still, swimming is what he said excites him most come fall.
“My goal is to be the best swimmer that I can be,” Jones said.
“I just want to go get an (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) championship and that’ll be fun.”