women in finishing moment of a running race

Gabby Thomas ’15 Headed to Tokyo Olympics


Gabby Thomas ’15 has been busy. In June, she clocked 21.61 seconds in the 200-meter sprint at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. During that race, she earned a personal best (her third PB at the trials), the third-fastest time for that event ever (only Florence Griffith Joyner, Flo-Jo, twice ran faster), and the first-place spot in the heat, beating out six-time-Olympic-gold-winning sprinter Allyson Felix.

Since then, Thomas has appeared on “TODAY,” with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, where she expressed her joy at heading to Tokyo this summer and earning a slot on Team USA aside Felix, her idol. She also spoke with Chris Cuomo of CNN, and reporters from The New York Times, and Washington Post.

Thomas graduated from Harvard in 2019 with a degree in neurobiology, global health, and health policy and now is pursuing a master’s degree in epidemiology and health care management at the University of Texas, where she also trains on the track.

While at Harvard, Thomas became the first Ivy League athlete to make an indoor NCAA sprint final and win an indoor national championship title, while breaking the indoor 200 meter collegiate record with a time of 22.38. She decided to forgo her senior year of amateur eligibility to become the first female sprinter to be sponsored by New Balance. She finished her collegiate career as an eight time All-American and 25-time All Ivy League athlete.

two women posing on a track

At Williston, Thomas started off playing soccer, basketball, and track and field. It wasn’t until her junior year that she became serious about running. Thomas’s Williston Northampton School track and field coach Martha McCullagh, who was present at the trials, reflected on Thomas’s performance in Oregon during a deadly, record-breaking heat wave. Thomas ran heats in temperatures that ranged between 93 and 100 degrees.

Nevertheless, McCullagh said, Thomas maintained her composure. “I am in awe watching Gabby,” she continued. “She is a focused professional, enjoying what she does. She is talented, confident, poised, and competitive yet humble, graceful, and appreciative.”

Wildcats will be watching as she hits the track later this summer in Tokyo, hearts swelling with pride. #GoGabbyGo

A member of Williston’s Anti-Racism Committee and a recent alumni presenter on establishing a running practice, Thomas was featured in The Bulletin in 2016. Look for an article about her in the winter 2021 edition of the magazine.