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Thomas rebounds in Ames

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | JANUARY 28, 2015 5:00 AM

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Jahisha Thomas’ first college meet didn’t go as planned.

At the Border Battle in Iowa City on Jan. 10, the London native finished in second-place with a time of 8.90 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. In addition, she took sixth in the women’s 60, crossing the line at 8.01.

“The last time [Border Battle] was such a disastrous event. It was rusty, it was disgusting, and it was raggedy,” she said. “I felt like I needed to reinvent myself and show my coaches why they actually recruited me. I wanted them to know they didn’t bring me all the way here from London for no reason.”

Last weekend in Ames, however, the athlete had no trouble improving her marks.

The freshman clocked a personal best of 8.60 in the women’s 60-meter hurdles to snatch the title. Her time is now the seventh fastest in school history. Thomas also placed third in the women’s 200, crossing the line at 25.65 to earn third.

The London native thought it was a lot of pressure on her to perform well in Ames after her performance in Iowa City.

Director of track and field Joey Woody understood this situation very well.

“Sometimes that first race as a freshman is just kind of shaking the rust off, knowing where you’re at, and just kind of looking at some things,” he said.

During the meet Thomas said she felt anxious, but those feelings weren’t equivalent to the feelings she had at the Big Four Duals. Her own motivation was something she believes was a result of her performance.

“My foot was shaking in the blocks last time [Border Battle] and I was just nervous,” she said. “This time [Big Four Duals] I had to tell myself just run, let’s go, let’s do this. In a way, that made my run more powerful in the end.”

Iowa assistant coach Jason Wakenight was certainly pleased on his athlete’s performance in Ames. In fact, the freshman’s results were something he was expecting.

“I thought it was really nice to see her get another big improvement and take a step forward,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time before everything clicks. Everything in practice has been looking really, really good.”

After an impressive performance in Ames, the freshman said she felt delightful, but noted she’s far from content — especially early on in the season.

“There’s definitely more work to do,” she said. “I’m happy with what I did, but I’m not comfortable for where I am at the moment.

Aside from hurdles and sprints, Thomas also competes in the long jump. On Feb. 6, the freshman will make her début at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her coaches are looking forward to seeing her continue to break through.

“She’s a girl we brought in knowing she could do both events at a real high level,” Woody said. “She’s somebody that we’re counting on for the long jump.”


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