At just 15 years and 123 days old, Tigerbelle Barbara Jones became the youngest woman to ever win a gold medal in track and field.
Jones, a native of Chicago, accomplished the feat before she came to TSU at the summer Olympics in 1952 in Helsinki, Finland. Jones teamed up with fellow Tigerbelle Mae Faggs, Janet Moreau and Catherine Hardy in the 4 x 100 meter relay.
At the 1955 Pan American Games, Jones won a gold medal in 100 meter dash as well as the 4 x 100 meter relay.
Following the Pan American Games, Jones enrolled at Tennessee State in 1957 to train under legendary track coach Ed Temple.
Jones missed the 1956 Olympics, but she came back to represent the U.S. in Rome, Italy in 1960. Jones ran the 4 x 100 meter again, but this time she was teamed with fellow Tigerbelles, Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams and Olympic 100 and 200 meters champion, Wilma Rudolph.
The team was different than before, but the result was still the same as Jones and company won gold.
In 2011, Jones became the 25th TSU representative to be inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Jones is also a member of the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the International Track and Field Hall of Fame.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.
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