BC Alumni Inducted Into Coast Guard Hall of Fame

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By Kelley Lach

Gretchen Wagner Jones is a woman who easily fits the definition of distinguished. As a student at Bloom-Carroll, Wagner Jones ran track and cross country and advanced to the State Championships. She was a two time collegiate All-American in cross country, where she finished 12th in 1994 and 21st in 1995. Wagner Jones was also All-American three more times in track and field for the 5,000-meter event. In fact, she still holds a few Coast Guard Academy records – a record for her 5,000 in both indoor and outdoor track, as well as part of the 4x800 relay in outdoor track. Wagner-Jones is also the only athlete in Coast Guard Academy history that achieved All-American status in all three competition seasons.

As an adult, Wagner Jones went into the Coast Guard and graduated from the Coast Guard Academy as Class of 1996. While she was in active duty, she served as a helicopter pilot. She still serves today as part of the Coast Guard Reserves.

Her connection to Bloom-Carroll is strong. She attributes much of her success in high school to coach and teacher Mr. Sarsfield, who is a social studies teacher at Bloom-Carroll High School. Sarsfield said, “She is impressive in every part of life. Kind, active, a fantastic mother… one of the most impressive people I’ve ever known.” Though Sarsfield won’t likely admit it, he had a great impact on Wagner Jones’ life. He added nonchalantly that Wagner Jones expressed the feeling that she wouldn’t have seen the same direction of life had Sarsfield not been a mentor. This remarkable woman is a reminder that greatness can come out of the halls of this very high school. 

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