GLOVERSVILLE - Chanel Thomas, a senior at Gloversville High School, can not only run but jump, hurdle and throw as well.
This past track season, as a junior, Thomas represented Section 2 as she competed in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships for the heptathlon. Thomas placed 17th overall creating, as she stated, one of her favorite memories so far.
"[these] moments were just so emotional for me because I have been working so hard all season to get there and I finally succeeded" stated Thomas.
Gloversville’s Chanel Thomas competes in the high hurdle portion of the pentathlon at the Section II Track and Field Championships at Knox Field in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
"Everything about this meet was a new experience to her: the stadium, the size of the crowd, and even the check-in process. As you watched her, though, you never got the impression she was overwhelmed. She performed very well" Gloversville assistant coach John Valovic when asked about Thomas' Nationals performance.
Thomas however didn't start out with either the heptathlon or pentathlon. In 2008 when she signed up for track she started with running events such as the 55-meter sprint, long jump, high jump and the 4x200 relay on her modified team.
In New York State, heptathlon can only be found at Nationals, which was where Thomas competed in it for the first time. The heptathlon, unlike the pentathlon, has seven events rather than five. That includes the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and the 800-meter run along with javelin and the 200-meter sprint.
This past track season, Thomas raced all over the field to get six personal best in long jump, 200m, 800m, shot put, 100 hurdles, javelin and high jump all the events in the heptathlon.
"[Thomas] is a pure athlete" Valovic said. "Her performances from this year were not surprising to anyone who watched her every day in practice or to the girls who raced against her at meets."
When asked how she knew the heptathlon was the right event, Thomas said, "I'm not extremely great in one event and I liked the fact that you could make up points in the other events."
Heading into her senior season, Thomas is hoping to make it to states and nationals for both the indoor and outdoor track season.
When asked about Thomas' next track season Valovic stated, "[Thomas] has a shot to win big. She has seen what it is like to reach these big meets and she isn't satisfied with just getting there. She will be stronger. She will be better."
Looking toward her future, Thomas is hoping to persue a major in nursing at a college down south.
"[I] without a doubt would love to continue track in college," she said. "It's become a big part of my life and I don't think I'm ready to give it up just yet."