By Julian Bell
Women’s Track and Field athlete Mae Thompson set another school record in the 800m at the Boston University Invitational on Jan. 27. Thompson, who finished with a time of 2:11.05, attributes her success to determination.
“It was great to break my record from last year. I hadn’t had the smoothest start to the season, so I knew I had to do something special at Boston – I attacked the race hard from the start and was determined to stay at the front of the pack for as long as I could,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who specializes in sprints and hurdles, is now a junior competing in her third season on the FDU track and field team.
Last season, she was a standout academically as well as athletically. She was named in the NEC Winter Academic Honor Roll as well as the Commissioner’s Roll, which is only granted to students with a 3.75 GPA or higher. Thompson, who currently holds the best time for the 800m in the NEC, remained humble despite her recent success.
“I don’t really like to compare myself to other people in the conference. Right now I’m just focused on bringing my times down even more, so that hopefully I can compete at the national level before the end of my college career,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who is from the United Kingdom, currently holds the Hinchley Wood School record for the 400m hurdles. In 2014, she was ranked ninth in the United Kingdom for this event. Thompson was also a cross country athlete at FDU before moving over to track and field.
“The transition from cross country to indoor track was a big obstacle for me. At the beginning of the season, after every race or hard workout I’d catch myself thinking ‘Have I still got it, am I still as fast as last year?’, and I really didn’t know the answer. After running a whole season of cross country, suddenly demanding something so different from your body definitely isn’t easy,” Thompson said.
The transition went much better than expected as she managed not only to set a new school record as a track and field athlete, but also beat her previous time.
“My main goals this season are to defend my NEC title in the 800m and finish on the podium at the ECAC Championships in March,” Thompson said.
Thompson looks ahead to other competitions such as the NEC Championships and ultimately the NCAA Championships in March. According to her, these are major opportunities to work on aspects of her athleticism.
“FastTrack is our final opportunity to sharpen up before the NEC conference championships, and there’s still a few parts of my race I’d like to improve on. I’m looking forward to some fast competition, and hopefully I’ll be able to come away with a PR,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she aims to be a top finisher in the next few events coming up, providing her with an all-around package of athletic ability and academic achievement.