College senior Jackson Thomas captured the NAIA National Cross-Country
Championship in Elsah, Illinois on Nov. 19 with a winning
time of 23 minutes, 50 seconds. He is pictured here with the
Navajo Nation flag in the background.
Bacone College senior Jackson Thomas captured the NAIA National
Cross-Country Championship in Elsah, Illinois on Nov. 19 with a
winning time of 23 minutes, 50 seconds. He is pictured here with
the Navajo Nation flag in the background.
Thomas, a Navajo from Naschitti, New Mexico, toured the hilly
8K course in 23:50, well ahead of the second place finisher.
This was Thomas" second National Championship. Last winter,
Thomas garnered the NAIA Indoor Track & Field one-mile run.
Prior to the national meet, Thomas nailed down the Sooner Athletic
Conference individual championship. Bacone College teammate Binahnii
Curley, a Window Rock High School graduate, finished in second place.
"It"s an amazing feeling," Thomas said about his National Championship.
"I have been working out hard in preparation for the post season.
All cross-country season long, I was preparing for the National
Championship. I thank my coach (Clay Mayes) and my teammates."
Bacone College head coach Clay Mayes said Thomas" National Championship
"I said this back when Jackson won the NAIA Indoor mile, too,"
Mayes said. "Jackson is one of those folks that knows to eat right,
rest well, train hard, but smart about the process at hand. He sees
a bigger picture."
Mayes pointed out that during the NAIA Indoor Track & Field
Championship, Thomas beat all odds. Mayes said entering the race,
Thomas was seeded seventh in the one-mile run and was considered
Thomas said during the cross-country National Championship,
his strategy was to remain in the top 10 for the majority of the
"I stayed in contact with the lead runners," he said. "I was
in the top 10. With about one mile remaining in the race, I made
a surge to take the lead. The guy that was leading made a surge
to remain in the lead. So I remained behind the lead runner. With
about 300 meters remaining in the race, I used my speed to take
the lead. I sprinted to the finish line, finishing seven seconds
ahead of the second place finisher."