BOYS TRACK

His hamstring healed, Thomas aiming to soar at South Central

2013-04-17T18:00:00Z 2013-04-17T19:29:22Z His hamstring healed, Thomas aiming to soar at South CentralJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
April 17, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

After qualifying for state in the long jump as a sophomore, Isaiah Thomas primed himself for a bigger splash last spring.

"I was talking to a lot of coaches and they say the year colleges really look at in recruiting is the junior year," Thomas said.

Unfortunately, Thomas' season ended just as it started. He pulled his hamstring in an indoor meet at Purdue and a few weeks later, tore it as he was practicing the long jump before Morgan Township's first outdoor meet.

"It was pretty tough," said Thomas, who now attends South Central. "I was working with a personal trainer at VU. I was really looking forward to the season."

The next few months seemed like an eternity. It was late August before Thomas was medically cleared to run again. He played football, but it was another several weeks before he started to cut it loose. While the hamstring is healed, Thomas still has some mental hurdles to clear, even over a year later.

"We went to the Purdue meet and I didn't do the 55 (dash), I was so leery about the leg," he said. "At Hanover, I used blocks, but I switched up my push-off leg. A lot of it's just trying to push myself in practice. Once I start to get to the point where I'm pretty confident in my leg, I'll do fine. I'm going to wait for a meet that really matters before I go all out."

Even going an estimated 85 percent, Thomas stands out.

"I give him a hard time when he's running the 100," S.C. coach Cari Schmack said. "I tell him to go all out. He's in front of everyone and he literally looks he's jogging, he's so relaxed. He's extremely talented."

It's not the first time Thomas has heard that.

"My dad's telling me, 'You look like Usain Bolt,'" he said. "It doesn't look like I'm going hard. I try to keep my body and facial expressions as relaxed as possible when I run."

Thomas broke Morgan's 100 record with a 10.8. Put into the long jump on a whim, he literally soared, besting the school mark with a leap of 22 feet, 1 inch. It took him just a few outdoor jumps at South Central to set its record (21-9). Thomas reached 22-8 3/4 indoors at the Hoosier State Relays, placing third in the small-school division.

"I did it at Morgan just working on sprinting," he said. "Now I've really flipped it all the way around. All my focus is on the long jump. It takes a lot off my leg. There's no big explosion."

Thomas is targeting 23 feet and a return to Bloomington, this time in a Satellites uniform.

"I wanted to go here since my freshman year, but my sister was at Morgan and our parents didn't want us at different schools," he said. "Their first three children went here. My sister graduated, so they said I could come here. I knew quite a few people, but I didn't have any really close friends. I was surprised how well I was accepted."

Schmack heard of Thomas' transfer, but wasn't counting on it until she saw him. Though he's new to S.C., he is already a team captain.

"He's good kid," Schmack said. "He's probably his hardest critic. I feel like there should be quite a few colleges looking at him. I talked to the VU coach and they say they'd take him in a heartbeat. He could compete there now."

Thomas is keeping his options open, but for now he plans to attend Vincennes, where his sister Latoya goes to school, and study law enforcement.

"(The injury) really humbled me," Thomas said. "I had to take a step back. It taught me that if you really want to get somewhere in life, no matter what you're in, you have to work to get there. You can't just try to get by with your skills. Nothing's handed to you. You have to put effort into everything you do."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses