Trinidadian Sprinter Jenna-Marie Thomas receives full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy

By Sports Desk December 30, 2022

Rising junior track athlete Jenna-Marie Thomas charts off to Geneva, Ohio, United States on Wednesday on a full athletic scholarship at SPIRE Institute and Academy.

Thomas, 14, currently holds four NGC/NAAATT National Junior Championship titles having swept the girls’ U-15 60-metre hurdles, 200m, 300m hurdles and 400m events at the annual meet in July. There, she also earned U-17 shot put silver.

The IG Fastlane Athletics Club sprinter/hurdler will continue her high school studies at SPIRE in grade ten and will focus on developing in the 200 and 400m sprints, as well as 100m and 400m hurdles.

Thomas was pleased to secure the scholarship at such a young age and is intent on making the most of her budding athletic career. She leaves Holy Faith Convent, Couva to head to Ohio.

“I attained this scholarship by displaying great potential on the track, and academically, which provided the opportunity for me to qualify and receive a full athletic scholarship.

“Getting a scholarship at this age was unexpected; however, receiving one would have been part of my goals as an athlete. Some of my main goals and aspirations I would like to achieve while there are improving and excel in both sprint and hurdle events,” she said.

Locally, she’s been coached by IG Fastlane’s Samuel Roach for the past seven years. Her hurdles coaches are Nataki Dasant, Heathcliffe Thorne, Aiesha Colthrust and Kern Alexis.

Thomas also earned girls’ U-17 4x100m relay bronze at the Carifta Games in Jamaica earlier this year. She was fifth in the 400m final.

Thomas also finished fourth in the women’s 400m event at the 2022 National Open Championships, clocking 57.89 seconds.

Despite her experience on the track, Thomas said she was still a bit nervy to start school in the US. However, the speedster wants to embrace the opportunity and face the challenges head on, in pursuit of a successful athletic career.

“I am bit anxious but mostly excited to study because of the new experiences. I think balancing school and sport would be quite similar to what I normally do just balancing a new environment would be a bit challenging in view of the fact that the climate is different to my home country.

“I plan on approaching everything with a positive attitude in that way it will be one step closer to achieving my goals,” she added.

Her personal bests are; 60m hurdles (9.53s), 100m (12.82s), 200m (25.90s), 100m hurdles (15.31s), 300m hurdles (44.89s), 400m (57.89s), 400m hurdles (1.05s), high jump (1.53m) and shot put (10.06m).

Looking ahead, Thomas said she would like to spend most of her time working on the 400m hurdles.

 

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