Thursday, December 25, 2008

Catching up with former Mt. Pleasant athlete, Vashti Thomas...

Today we chat with one of the best track athletes in California history, current Texas A &M and former Mt. Pleasant student, Vashti Thomas. She finished off her high school career last year with victories at the California state meet in the 100m. hurdles (13.44), long jump (20'0 1/4") and triple jump (42'0 1/4") as she led Mt. Pleasant to a 2nd place finish in the team race. During her junior season, Vashti helped lead the Mt. Pleasant team to the state championship with her placings in the long jump and triple jump and her victory in the 100m. hurdles in an amazing 13.03!

1) How did you started in Track and Field?
I just heard that my Jr. High was going to have a track team so I tried out.

2) What events did you start with as a 9th grader?
Freshman yr. I started with the 100HH., high jump and the long jump.

3) When you first started in the sport, what athletes did you look up to as role models?
I didn't really look up to anyone. I didn't really pay that much attention to track at the time. It was just some thing I did at the time but I didn't think I would be any good.

4) When did you first realize that you could be pretty good in track?
I first realized that I was going to to be pretty good my sophomore year, but even then I didn't feel like I was good.

5) Tell us a little about your coaches in high school and what they meant to your development as an athlete.
Nelson (Head coach Steve Nelson). was the one who found me and put the thought of doing the hurdles in my head.

Angela (Hurdle coach Angela Hill). She was my hurdle coach and my psychiatrist. Not only would she help me improve as a hurdler, she would help me with any issue that was bothering me.

Jamal & Jimmy (Jumps coaches Jamal Elmidge and Jimmy Brown). Jamal introduced me to the triple jump. The way they made practice fun just made me want to be out there so that i wouldn't miss out on the funny stuff.

6) Looking back at your high school career, what do you feel was your best race? best accomplishment? favorite moment?
Looking back I feel that my best race was the first time I fell at the Bay Area Top 8 meet my freshman year. Angela always said that you can't be good at the hurdles until you fall, and I fell

My best accomplishment was when I won the 100HH at the state meet my Jr. Year, I felt like all the blood sweat n tears I put in to track had finally paid off.

My favorite moment actually was not on the track, it was when Jeneba,Stella, Deirdra, Marshay, and I were in New York for indoor nationals my sophomore year and we were eating at this pizza place and I forgot what we were laughing about but in that moment I felt like I couldn't be happier.

7) What were some of your favorite meets to attend in high school?
Some of my favorite meets to attend were the Indoor Nationals in NY, not only because I liked the track and there is this graffiti gallery called 5 Points that I would see on the way to the My other favorite meet to go to was the Stanford Invitational. Although there would be caterpillars hanging from all the trees, I liked watching the college women run.

8) How did you end up choosing Texas A & M and what other colleges did you look at?
I chose Texas A&M because, although i didn't take all my trips, when I went there I felt like I was at home and I wanted to be apart of the Aggie Family. I was looking at USC and LSU and many others but I'm not sure the thought didn't click.

9) If you could give advice to students who are having a difficult time choosing a college, what would that be?
I would tell them that they should look at which school is offering the most. Check out the schools academics and make sure that they offer the classes that the athlete would want to take. Ask about the workouts and how their program works. Narrow it down to five schools. Take all their trips and the college that is best for them will let them know.

10) What has college life been like so far as a student and athlete?
The college life so far has been great once you get past the homesickness. The way my schedule is set up is that I stay busy but I like it. Although sometimes I rather sleep than practice, its nice to have everything planned out.

11) What are some of your goals for this year and beyond?
My goals this year is just to do better than last year. My future goals are to hopefully go to the next Olympics in at least two events.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Thank you very much Vashti! AJC

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