By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MURFREESBORO — When Andre Thomas was a junior, he decided to go out for Head Coach Benard Ivie’s Cougar Track program.
Thomas was aware of the pride tradition of the program with past standouts like Buck Wakefield, Matt Gray, Rolanda Taylor, Dominga Smith and Triple Jump State champion Crystal Williams just to name a few.
Like all those past standouts could tell you, Thomas found out quickly Ivie will test his athletes abilities in multiple events. Before Thomas took to the Middle Tennessee State University track Friday evening for the 200m State Finals, he participated in the 4x100m, 4x200m and even high jump during his tenure with Munford.
But it was the 200m dash that gave him a chance to bring back home a medal to Tipton County. Thomas’ time of 22.61 was good enough for seventh place.
“It’s not first place,” he said. “But I made it to the medal stand. I made it.”
The man on the top podium was Jordan Thomas of Centennial with a time of 22.11. Both Thomases had smiles as bright as the setting sun in the Murfreesboro’s sky.
“It’s unbelievable,” Andre said. “It’s a blessing actually to be able to come down here and face everybody from all over Tennessee.
“I’m just blessed to be able to continue the tradition built by Coach Ivie,” he added. “It took hard work and dedication and not giving up. It took practice and more practice.”
Thomas said the tradition should continue as long as the returning Cougar Track athletes buy into what the coaching staff is teaching them.
“I would tell them to keep working at what you’re doing,” he concluded. “You can get there. Just don’t give up on it.”