“I really wanted to win,” says 200 winner Gabby Thomas, “especially since the year before I did not have the race I wanted and I came in 8th.”
There’s more there, the Harvard junior continues: “I definitely do not think I am peaking any time soon. There are a lot of improvements that can still be made, mentally and physically and just technically in my races.
“So I do expect to get faster for outdoors. Seeing that I can run a 22.38 indoors, it’s very encouraging for me, just because I know that I am a little bit stronger outdoor and I just do not like indoor 200s.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how much better I get. I guess we’ll find out pretty soon.”
Thomas had a prep 100 best of only 11.74. “I wasn’t some stellar high schooler that everyone wanted,” she says with a laugh.
A year later, with PRs of 11.30 and 22.47, she placed 6th in the OT 200 final. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she recalls. “That made it better because I didn’t have this crazy pressure on myself to do really well.”
Now she knows she belongs with the best sprinters. “Stereotypes at the end of the day, they just don’t matter. I realized when I came in that people are going to stereotype you and see ‘Harvard’ and just not expect you to win.
“Believing in myself is the biggest thing. You just need to put in the work, it doesn’t matter what track you’re at or where you are training. If you put in the work, then you will get there.”