Trevor Jones seeded his reputation on the bustling youth soccer fields of South Orange County, running down opponents as if they were stuck on a treadmill.
"We were on the same teams when we were little and he was so fast he would blow by everybody," said Shaun Blackholly, a friend since their kindergarten days in Lake Forest. "Whenever the other team had a breakaway, he'd just run up from behind and take the ball away. We never gave up any breakaways."
Jones has since brought his blazing speed to the Newport Harbor track and field team, where the senior has developed into one of the top sprinters in the state.
Jones appeared on the California top marks list in six categories this season, which was unequaled across the state. He put the final touches on an extraordinary high school career 10 days ago, coming from behind to win a state title in the 300 intermediate hurdles and finishing second in the 110 high hurdles after clipping the first barrier and falling back to eighth.
Jones, The Times' Orange County boys' track and field athlete of the year, won the 300 intermediate hurdles in 36.60 seconds, breaking a 15-year-old county record and running the fourth-fastest high school time in the nation this season. Newport Harbor Coach Bim Barry said that was definitely unexpected, but nothing compared to his effort in the 110 high hurdles, where Jones' height (5-10) is a big disadvantage.
"His development in the  highs was the most surprising thing of the season," Barry said. "He made it to state in the 300s last season and we knew he was one of the better athletes, so that didn't come as a great surprise."
Jones went out for the Newport Harbor football team for the first time last fall, but wasn't even the fastest player on the team. Barry said that's because football players are timed in the 40-yard dash, and Jones is still accelerating at that point. Case in point was the high hurdle race at the state finals.
"That was one of the things that was so exciting about the 110 race," Barry said. "Just the way that race started, he lost all of his inertia over the first hurdle and then closed on everyone."
Jones had already signed with UCLA when the season began in early March. By the end of the first month, he had the state-leading mark in the 300 hurdles, an event he finished seventh in at the state finals as a junior.
Jones had the second-fastest time in the 300 hurdles and sixth-fastest in the 110s at the Flojo Memorial Arcadia Invitational in early April, then produced the top individual performance at the Orange County Championships a week later. He won both hurdle events, finished second to Edison's Darryl Poston in the 100 meters and ran a 47.8 anchor for the winning 1,600 relay team.
Jones finished first in the same events at the Sea View League finals three weeks later, which led the Sailors to an easy team victory.
He also won Southern Section Division II titles in the 300 hurdles and the 100, and anchored the winning 1,600 relay team. Jones finished second to Katella's Kenny Vihn at the section finals, but came back with victories in both hurdle events the next week at Masters.
Jones then rode the momentum to the state finals at Cerritos College.
"It has been quite a progression," Barry said. "That's what's so neat, witnessing that and being a part of that."
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School: Newport Harbor
First team all-county events: 400 meters, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles.
Second team all-county event: 100 meters
All-county first team: Darryl Poston, Edison; Alonso Smith, Tustin; Ryan Bousquet, Esperanza; Danny Mejia, Katella; Jim Lunnen, Santa Margarita; Antonio Thomas, Century; Clarence Moore, Cypress; Robby Hulliger, Costa Mesa; Travis Pendleton, Esperanza; Logan Odden, Marina; Santa Margarita 400 and 1,600 relay teams.