Junior All-American collects first weekly honor of the season after strong return to action at UNH
Thomas, who earns the indoor field award for the eighth time in his career, made his 2011-12 season debut for Stonehill on Saturday and helped lead the nationally-ranked Skyhawks to a second place team finish at the University of New Hampshire Quad Meet. He was a double-winner for Stonehill, provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in both the hurdles and high jump for the third-straight year.
The reigning NCAA Division II Indoor High Jump National Champion won that event on Saturday with an NCAA PQ height of 6-feet, 10.75-inches, marking the seventh highest leap in Division II so far this winter. Thomas didn't miss on any of his first four heights, including the winning jump, before missing on his three attempts at an NCAA automatic qualifying height of 7-1.50. He also won the 55-meter hurdles event with a time of 7.58-seconds after qualifying first overall in the prelims in 7.60.
Thomas, who captured the first track and field national championship in Stonehill history last March, is a five time NCAA Division II All-American, collecting four in the high jump (two indoor, two outdoor) and another in the 60-meter high hurdles. He has also earned eight All-New England and All-Northeast-10 Conference honors, four U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region and two USTFCCCA East Region Field Athlete of the Year awards. Thomas has won six Northeast-10 titles (four hurdles and two high jump) and three New England championships, with one indoor and one outdoor high jump championship to go with a 60-meter hurdles title when he became the first double New England champion during the indoor championships as a freshman.
Thomas holds the school record in all five events he competes in at Stonehill. He cleared an indoor school-record 7-feet, 2.25-inches at the 2010 New England Championships and an outdoor record 7-1.5 at the U.S. Junior Nationals at Drake University later that year. Thomas ran the 60-meter hurdles in a school-record 8.08-seconds at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships in New Mexico, while his 110-meter hurdles time of 14.31-seconds at the 2011 New England Outdoor Championships is the school standard. He also holds the 55-meter hurdles record of 7.45-seconds set at the 2010 New England Championships.
Stonehill, ranked No. 22 in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) Division II rankings, is back in action on Friday when it participates in the New Balance Boston Collegiate Indoor Games at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center starting at 4:30 p.m.