The junior talks developing speed and his goals for the track and field season.
Josh Thomas is a junior sprinter/jumper on the Braden River High boys track and field team. Thomas won the 100-meter dash (10.87 seconds) at the Ranch Relays at Lakewood Ranch High Feb. 29. Thomas is also a wide receiver on the school's football team.
When did you start doing track and field?
This is my first season doing track and field for real. I ran at one meet last season (the Ram Invitational at Riverview High), but I ended up not following up on it. This year I am all in. I want to get faster for football, and this is the best way.
When did you first realize you had elite speed?
I used to play football for this team called the (Suncoast) Buccaneers when I was 10. It was a Pop Warner team. My dad (Bryan Thomas) was my coach. He put me at running back. I used to smoke everybody up the middle, just running past them.
What is your favorite event?
I love the 100-meter dash. It's all about being explosive, and that's my best thing. You need to keep your head down and drive your legs for at least 10 meters. Get off the line fast and then you can lift your head. I like the high jump too. That's new to me. I'm still learning it, but I like it.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Getting the technique of the high jump right. I have the height that I want on my jumps, but I need to work on getting horizontal, getting over the bar.
What are your goals for this season?
In the 100-meter dash, I want to break 10.5 seconds. In the high jump, I want to clear 6 feet. I think I can do both.
What is your favorite food?
I love chicken. Any type of chicken. Barbecue chicken, fried chicken, doesn't matter. I like it all.
What is your favorite movie?
I love the "Spiderman" movies a lot. Those are cool.
What is your dream vacation?
I have never been to New York. I would love to go there. I want to see the Statue of Liberty and all the other historic sights there.
Which athletes do you model yourself after?
In football, it's Tyreek Hill (Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver) because of his quickness and getting in and out of his breaks. In running, it's Usain Bolt, because he is the fastest guy there is.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Keep your grades high. Focus on your academics. That is more important than some people realize. Also, work harder than anybody else. I'm on the track twice a day, once before school and once after school, and I also am in the weight room Monday through Friday.
Finish this sentence: "Josh Thomas is … "
… Real fast.