Rush-Henrietta graduate heading to Olympics speaks about her journey

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester has a few names heading to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, including Rush-Henrietta graduate Lanae-Tava Thomas.

Thomas qualified for the Jamaican track team after finishing the 200-meter dash in 22.34 seconds recently.

“When I first crossed the line, I completely forgot it was qualifiers for the Olympics,” she said. “Seeing my parents so excited and so happy, and the crowd so exciting for me, I realized oh my gosh, I just qualified. Because I had no idea. I completely forgot.”

At Rush-Henrietta, she won 11 state titles between jumps and sprints. She became the first athlete in Section V to win three gold medals at the state meet.

“I remember that it was just like a big community thing,” she said. “I mean, where everyone kind of chipped into my success, which is why I have so many great people to thank.”

In college, it was a similar story. She finished top ten in USC track history in three different categories. After transferring to Texas, she won bronze at the Big 12 Championship.

“I’ve worked hard to get where I am right now. I’ve definitely worked hard. There’s a lot more to go from here,” she said.

It’s a journey with the first footsteps being taken in the Flower City. Thomas knows what that means. She has already claimed gold for Section V. Now she’s looking to do it with the world watching.

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