Keeping Pace with Sarah Thomas

March 19, 2014

Competing outdoors is my favorite part of the track and field season. The transition from indoor season to outdoor season is always very exciting for me as a sprinter. The weather is beginning to change, we are able to begin practicing outside again, and we start working on the 4x100-meter relay exchanges. With a combination of all of these things, outdoor season is like a breath of fresh air. Like me, most of my teammates are more comfortable and more confident with competing outdoors. After a long indoor season, outdoor season is finally here!

This week we will be hosting our first home outdoor track meet of the season, the John Mitchell Alabama Relays. The best part of the Alabama Relays is not necessarily the competition aspect of it all, but the history that we are introduced to during this time. Alumni come back and offer us a glimpse into the legacy that they left for us. I find it very interesting to talk to someone who was in the very same position as I am in now.

I remember my first Alabama Relays. There were so many alumni that came back and the atmosphere was heavy with excitement--from both the athletes to meet the people who paved the way for us and the alumni to see where the paths they created has led.

I had the pleasure of hosting a group of alumni and gave them a tour of the athletic facilities. It was one of my most humbling. They stood in awe of the locker rooms, the nutrition bar and the football weight room. One alumnus said, "Our nutrition bar was a water fountain." I laughed at the thought of that, but it was at that moment that I realized how blessed and privileged I am to be a part of such a prestigious program.

Bringing back alumni to the Alabama Relays definitely brings a sense of pride to the team. It makes us proud to compete on our turf. To see our practice facility transform into a battle zone for competition is surreal. This aspect of it really brings out the competitive edge of home meets. Our mindset is that no one is going to beat us on our track. That is why it is beneficial to open up the outdoor season with a home meet. It sets the tone and builds the momentum for the rest of the season.