19 for 19 first place age group finishes
by Ricky Mulvey,
Loveland (It’s more than a bike trail), Oh. - 11-year-old Loveland Intermediate School 6th grader Kirstin Thomas has been featured in the magazine Sports Illustrated Kids section of “Sportskids of the Month.”
Kirstin is featured for her prominence in 5 kilometer road and trail races. She is a part of the SMAC Track and Field Club, and was asked to train with the highly successful boys program after her brother, six-time state track medalist and ten-time all-city sprinter Connor Thomas, brought her to practice one day.
Phil McDonald, the head coach for the SMAC Boys Junior High Cross Country and Track teams, watched her run throughout her brother's practice and recognized her potential for distance running.
Prior to training with McDonald in the summer of 2012, Kirstin had won races at 50m, 75m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. Coach McDonald trained her last summer alongside the boys' cross country team and she quickly began to display a new talent. Since she was in fifth grade at the time, she could not run on the girls SMAC cross country team. This catalyzed her start to run 5 kilometer road and trail races.
During the fall, she often had to go from soccer to run a 5K or from a 5K to play soccer.
She has amassed nineteen first place age group finishes in as many tries and most often runs in the 14U category or the 12U category if the race contests her own age dynamic. Along with her age group victories, she has won the title of first place female overall five times and has set three age group course records.
Currently, Kirstin is training with the SMAC girls' Cross Country Club and is anxiously awaiting her first cross country season. While not mentioned in Sports Illustrated Kids, Kirstin was featured as much for her high scholastic honors, and her community service.