“Josh is a veteran member of the sprint and jump groups. In his role as captain, Josh leads with a commitment to the team’s traditions as well as an enthusiasm for the sport,” wrote Head Coach Rebecca Hession in an email to The Phillipian.
Thomas first got involved in track by joining Boys Indoor Track & Field his Lower year because he needed a winter sport. After taking a liking to it, he continued running during the outdoor season. Now, as Captain of outdoor track, Thomas feels that his biggest responsibilities are to bring up people’s spirits and maintain a positive outlook.
“I think my biggest responsibility as Captain is setting the tone and rhythm for the team. I constantly try to bring energy to practice, warm-ups, and meets—even if I’m not having the best day. I think it is important that even if I do poorly in a race or a fault on a throw or jump, that I continue to bounce back from it and push myself,” said Thomas.
According to sprinter Zach Moynihan ’21, Thomas himself is a constant source of energy and enthusiasm and he leads by example as the first leg in the 4×100-Meter Relay and a thrower.
“Josh is a forceful leader who always knows how to inspire the team and rally everyone behind each other. From practice warm ups to meet day, he’s always making sure that we put in all we have to perform at our best,” said Moynihan.
He continued, “Josh is our first leg for the 4×100-Meter Relay. This is a leg that has the added pressure of getting a good start out of the blocks. It’s inspiring to see Josh not only take on that added pressure but also perform so well each week. Josh also throws, which goes to show you just how much he adds to so many parts of the team.”
According to Andover Girls Track & Field Captain Serena Liu ’19, Thomas is always striving to achieve personal goals, which inspires his teammates.
“I think he really leads by example, which is what I admire most about him. He doesn’t have to verbally say that he’s working the hardest out there, but he shows it by coming to practice and then working towards his goals,” said Liu.
Alex Fleury ’20 believes that while Thomas focuses on sprints and jumping, he not only motivates those with whom he trains and competes, but he notices how Thomas’s influence affects the entire team and people who train for all events.
“I mainly see his effect on other people. When I see the sprints, that’s where you see the effect. As he reaches out to the distance people at the meet, it’s not really something you would expect from somebody who stays in sprints, but it’s something you would expect from a captain, and that’s what Josh does,” said Fleury.
In addition, Thomas seeks out opportunities to help the team in any way he can, according to Fleury.
“[T]he people in the sprints are really close to him… and they understand everything that he does for the team. When he’s not running his sprints, he’ll go to the jumps and the hurdles and help out with the hurdles, just try to get involved in any way possible because sometimes it’s hard if you’re a sprinter because you’re mainly focusing on sprinting at practice, and it’s hard to interact with everyone else, but he does a great job reaching out and doing his best to connect everybody on the team,” said Fleury.
Moynihan sees the team as a unit rather than a variety of smaller sects because of Thomas’s inclusivity and the standards he sets for himself.
Moynihan said, “Josh sets a really high standard for not only himself but also for every member of the team. I think this is how he manages to pull everyone on the team together, which is not an easy thing to do because we have such a large group. As a result, I’ve come to see the track team as less of a bunch of different event groups and more of a combined and supportive group united towards a common goal.”