Florence native Gabby Thomas ties Olympian Veronica Campbell-Brown for world’s fastest 200 time in 2017


For the Gazette

Published: 04-07-2017 9:16 PM

The IAAF lists the top track & field times in the world.

In the women’s 200-meter dash, No. 1 is Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica. She won Olympic gold in the event at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

Also No. 1 is Florence native and Harvard sophomore Gabby Thomas.

Each hold the top time of 22.6 seconds. Both marks were set at the Florida Relays in Gainesville last week, they just didn’t run against one another.

On March 30, Campbell-Brown won the women’s open 200. The following day Thomas won the college invite 200. She also placed third in the 100 with a school-record time of 11.24 seconds.

“A lot of time after training, it doesn’t come out right,” said Thomas. “This 200 was my first time (running this season). It’s about trusting in the training, the coach and yourself.”

Thomas is a two-time 200 indoor All-American. The indoor season wrapped up on March 11 and there was a quick turnaround to prepare for the opening of the outdoor season on March 16.

“After nationals I had a lot of time to reflect,” said Thomas. “I wanted to start my outdoor training and focus on that. I love outdoor so much. It started off well.”

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Harvard will team with Yale on Saturday to compete against a combined team from Oxford and Cambridge in the 46th annual HYOC meet.

Thomas will not be sprinting in New Haven, Connecticut. She is only competing in the long jump.

“In college I’ve been doing a lot of running. ... I’ll practice (jumping) every couple of weeks. Of course, coaches focus more on my sprinting. Going into college I was doing equal sprinting and jumping.”

Thomas won the Ivy League outdoor championship in the 100 and 200 as a freshman. She was third and named All-American in the 200 at the NCAA championships.