Stonehill’s Thomas wins high jump title
Brookline’s Thomas wins high jump title A third-place finish in the high jump, along with a failure to qualify for the championship heat in the 60-meter hurdles at last winter’s NCAA Division 2 Indoor Track & Field Championships, did not sit well with Brookline’s Corey Thomas.
When the Stonehill College sophomore made his return to Albuquerque last weekend for this season’s national competition, he did so with a renewed purpose and determination. The result was a landmark victory for the former Boston College High football and track standout.
Thomas soared to the Division 2 title in the high jump with his leap of 7 feet 1/2 inch, becoming the Easton college’s first national champion in an individual event.
On Sunday, Thomas registered his second All-America perform ance at the meet with his fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, setting a school record with his time of 8.08 seconds.
Thomas said he was reminded by high jump coach Jen Harlow to not pay attention to the other jumpers or their rankings and “just focus on my warm-ups and my goal.
“I came into the event in the right mind-set, got it going and had a good day,’’ said Thomas, whose personal best in the high jump is 7 feet 2 inches, set at last year’s New England indoor championships.
“Now it just feels awesome to be the first male athlete at Stonehill to be a national champ. It’s hard to find the words to explain the feeling. I had a couple of hours to get ready for the time trials in the hurdles after winning the high jump, and then in the finals I fought my way through and caught two other runners at the end for fifth. I felt proud of that, too.’’
For the second straight year, Thomas was honored as the Division 2 East Region Field Athlete of the Year by the US Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association.
“Corey went to indoor nationals as a freshman a little in awe of the other competitors, but he learned from that experience,’’ said Karen Boen. head coach of both the men’s and women’s track & field squads at Stonehill.
“This year he was more relaxed and he came in on a mission. Not everyone is so good at two events at this level and Corey is one of them. A year ago he was disappointed at his finish in the high jump,’’ she said, when he couldn’t get above 6 feet 11 inches, “and he had a hard time going into the hurdles. Last weekend, he settled himself down and did just fine.’’
Thomas had posted the second-best high jump in the country this season among all NCAA divisions, and automatically qualified for the Division 2 championships when he cleared 7 feet 1 inch at the Harvard University Open.
Thomas faces a similar scenario for the upcoming outdoor track season: he was third in the high jump and did not make the final heat in the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA nationals as a freshman.
“It’s time to get the other monkey off my back,’’ he said.
The 6-foot, 165-pound Thomas said he decided to go out for track instead of basketball as a freshman at BC High because “I was kind of a skinny kid, not as big as some of my football teammates who were also on the basketball team.’’ He was an All-American in the high jump for both the indoor and outdoor seasons that year.
Thomas went on to become a two-time track team captain at BC High, earning Tri-County League All-Star and Catholic Conference All-Star honors, and MVP accolades from his team and the league.
Thomas still holds the school record in four indoor and outdoor track events, and graduated as the state record holder in the high jump, 55-meter hurdles, 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and 4x200-meter relay. BC High’s indoor team went undefeated and won the Catholic Conference and state title during his senior season.
“It was quite the year,’’ he recalled. “I also played safety for our football team that beat Brockton High twice, the last time for the Super Bowl championship. We never lost to the Boxers in my four seasons of football.’’
Haydenettes win 19th US crown
Sisters Hannah and Lauren Lapuck, fellow Lexington residents Meghan Crocker and Alaina Salusti, and Abigail Goslin of Wrentham were members of the Lexington-based Haydenettes team that defended its national championship in synchronized skating March 6 in California.
The team’s victory in the Elite Senior Division at the US Figure Skating Championships, its record 19th US title, qualified the Haydenettes for the World Synchronized Championships to be held April 8-9 in Helsinki.
“This team really impressed me with their focus to win but also their desire to skate two of the best performances of the year,’’ said head coach Saga Krantz, “and that’s what champions are made of.’’
The organization had five other teams earning medals at the US Championships, including gold by the Ice Mates in the novice division, and two Esprit de Corps awards for teams competing in the adult and masters divisions.
Stow’s Weeden snags spirit award
Dartmouth College senior Clive Weeden, a 6-foot-9 forward from Stow, received the Alvin F. (Doggie) Julian Award for spirit and enthusiasm at the Big Green basketball team’s end-of-season banquet.
The Nashoba Regional High graduate started every game this season for Dartmouth, and capped off his career by tying a school record with 109 games played and ranking among the program’s top 10 with 68 blocked shots. Weeden led the team with 26 blocks this season and was second with 129 rebounds.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com or 508-820-4223.