Student-Athlete Spotlight: Michelle Thomas, Cross Country

Oct. 29, 2013

Junior, Michelle Thomas

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Michelle Thomas
Cincinnati, Ohio
Major: Education

Michelle Thomas, a junior distance runner for Ohio State women's cross country and track and field teams, has been one of the top runners for the Buckeyes this season. A native of Cincinnati, Thomas was the top runner for OSU at the Big Ten Preview earlier this season, finishing seventh overall in West Lafayette, Ind., site of this year's Big Ten Championship Nov. 3. Last season Thomas finished 21st at the championships and went on to run a personal record time of 20:50 and finish in the Top 20 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship. Thomas was both a 2013 USTFCCCA All-Academic selection and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.

Student Life

    Do you prefer the Oval in the Fall or Spring (or maybe the Winter)? The Spring, so I can soak up the sunshine with my friends.

    Where is the best place to sit for lectures? Second row from the front so you aren't in the very front, but you still can see what is being written on the board and pay attention.

    Most underrated place to study on campus? Your house. While it seems obvious, most people like to go somewhere on campus to actually study, but nowhere is better to me than the desk in my room where I can focus and the refrigerator is close by for snack breaks.

    Why did you choose to major in education? I chose to major in education because I hope to make a difference in children's lives.

    If you were the University President for a day, what would you do? I think I would go to the top floor of the library and enjoy the view for a while from there looking down on the Oval. Then I would walk around campus talking to students and getting their advice on how to make our campus even better.

    Describe your first day as a student at The Ohio State University? My first day oh boy! If I recall, it was a bit hectic. I think I had morning weights that day and I remember biking to practice with my roommate and having no idea where I was going and praying I wouldn't be that freshman who had to walk around with a map all day trying to find my classes.

Popular Culture

    Favorite TV show - CSI Miami

    Favorite movie - The Blindside

    Favorite book and/or magazine - The Harry Potter Series

    Favorite celebrity - Taylor Lautner

    Favorite singer or musical group - Beyoncé

    Last concert I attended was - Matchbox Twenty


    Favorite pro sports team - The Reds!

    Favorite athlete - Galen Rupp

    The athlete I would most like to compete against - Lauren Fleshman

    Favorite athletic memory - Qualifying for Nike Nationals in high school. I'm hoping to change that memory into winning a Big Ten Cross Country title at Ohio State.

    Team you're most looking forward to competing against - Michigan. What Ohio State student-athlete doesn't love beating a Michigan student-athlete.

    Race Ritual - We have a team ritual that we just started this year that we do before every race. Our coach brings a bottle of water from the Olentangy River and some grass from the river bank. We plant it right in the grass where we start on the starting line to remind us that while we don't have a home course everywhere we race we have a piece of home with us.

    What is your top skill? What skill do you need to improve? I am a competitor in everything I do. I always want to be the best and it drives me to work hard each day. A skill I need to improve on is learning to relax and take it easy sometimes.

    Dream event (non-sport or sport-related) you would like to attend? The Summer Olympics. I would love to watch the track and field events.


    Favorite home cooked meal - My mom makes some awesome taco bake! Any time I go home I know this is probably what we will have for dinner.

    Favorite snack food - Homemade granola

    Guilty pleasure snack and/or food - Semi-sweet chocolate chips.


    Person/People I most admire - My parents. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today. They were the first ones to believe in me and are always there to pick up the pieces when things start to go bad.

    The greatest risk I've ever taken was - Probably parasailing. While it was fun being that high above the ocean, knowing that all that was keeping me from falling to my possible death was a clip attached to a piece of metal.

    In 10 years, I would like to be - An elementary teacher and a high school cross country coach.

    If I had a million dollars, I would - Take my parents on a nice vacation somewhere to thank them for all they have done for me.

    Coolest thing you did this past summer - Took a helicopter ride over Downtown Cincinnati and Kentucky.

    Most prized possession - My camera. I am obsessed with taking pictures everywhere we go.

    I would like to trade places for a day with - President Obama. While being a president is hard, I think I could handle it for a day!

    Best piece of advice you've received? I have received a lot of good advice, but if I had to pick just one it would be from a former coach. He always said right before our races "The sun will always come up tomorrow and your parents are still going to love you no matter how you do."

    Any superstitions, non-game/match related - I am probably one of the most superstitions people around especially when it comes to a pre-race. I like to do everything exactly the same. One of my biggest superstitions though is my hair ties. I have worn the same black and red hair ties to hold my hair back in a ponytail for every race I have run while at Ohio State. For some reason they just seem lucky to me.

    Cats or Dogs? Dogs! They make great cuddle buddies!

    Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl. I usually seem to get a second wind and get a lot accomplished in the night hours.

    Would you be the O, H, I or the O? - Definitely the "I." Not sure why. Maybe because it is the easiest to make? And it's secretly my lifelong dream to "dot" the "I" at an Ohio State football game, but seeing that I am not in the band this dream unfortunately won't come true.