BLACKFOOT – For a freshman, Matt Thomas already has quite the accomplished career.
He comes from a family of runners. I mean a really serious family of runners.
His father, Roger Thomas, is the principal at Blackfoot High School and it is his name that adorns the list of Blackfoot record holders in the 800 meter run back in the days when he was a high school athlete at Blackfoot High School.
His older brother Derek ... well, all that Derek did was to win three consecutive 800 meter state championships at the 4A Idaho State High School Track and Field championships and picked up a couple of gold medals in the relays along the way as well. Those efforts earned him a spot at College of Idaho and the track team there, where he is a great runner in his own right as a now sophomore in their program.
Matt is a record holder in his own right, owning two records at Mountain View Middle School and he has picked up right where he left off as he has made the adjustment to the high school and the cross country team in Blackfoot.
“I try not to think about it very much,” Matt Thomas said. “My goal for this year was just to make the varsity team and try and contribute in some way.”
Thomas has done that and a lot more. In the most recent cross country meet, the Cardinal Classic at Soda Springs, Thomas checked in third of the Blackfoot runners, helping the Broncos to finish 10th in the 26-team meet. His time was in the 19 minute range for the 3.1 miles (5K) of the course and he has been improving with each outing.
In track and field, Thomas specializes in the 800 and 1600 meter runs and while he hasn’t yet set a goal to duplicate what older brother Derek or his dad Roger did during their careers, you know that it has to be in the back of his mind.
“I am just trying to help my team right now and to improve with each run,” Thomas said. “This is all a new experience and I want to make the most of it.”
Matt is a typical teenager and freshman, more content to think about his next meal, which he hopes will be steak and take care of the little things like classes and keeping and making friends.
He likes some of his science classes and enjoys the wildlife around the area, but since he is only a freshman, he doesn’t worry too much about life after high school. He is just content to be himself for now.
With his unassuming way and nature, Matt has already come a long ways towards being a champion in his own right and with the ability that he has already shown, Matt will be a champion on and off the track or cross country course.