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Benson senior takes a shine to her shoes

Deborah Jones hopes to be state champion in her new footwear

As it turns out, it really is the shoes that make Benson senior Deborah Jones run so fast. Sort of.

Jones, the three-time defending state 200-meter champion who also has won the 100 the last two years, has a special pair of running shoes. She ordered them before the start of the season and had them shaded with Benson's school colors: orange and blue.

'They're the Marion Jones style,' she says. 'Except they're Deborah Jones now.'

Jones says she stumbled onto the shoes on the Nike Web site one night and was so enthralled, she got her family to gladly pay $140 for the pair, which came with her name on the heels.

Senior teammate Brandi Probasco-Canda, the defending state champion in the 400, ordered a similar pair, although hers are shaded in blue and black.

Jones lights up whenever she talks about her shoes, which she only wears for track meets. In them, she's run a stellar 11.54-second 100 and set the Portland Interscholastic League district meet record in the 200 at 24.34 last week.

The Benson 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, which feature Jones and Probasco-Canda, set all-time state bests at the PIL meet.

Jones says the shoes actually may put a little more hop in her step.

'They're a one-of-a-kind pair of shoes. Who else races in orange and blue shoes?' she says.

Jones, Probasco-Canda and the Benson relay teams will be aiming for records at the Class 4A state track and field meet today and Saturday at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.

Other local athletes are looking to set records, among them Lincoln senior Mike McGrath in the boys 800. He already holds the state's all-time best in the event.