Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

May 30, 2014

Grandview’s Thomes signs to continue track career with UT-Arlington

GRANDVIEW — Grandview senior standout athlete Ben Thomes will continue his track career after signing with the University of Texas at Arlington on Friday.

Since moving to Grandview last spring from Aledo, Thomes has made a big impact in the Grandview athletic program.

Thomes set school records in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.96 seconds and the 110-meter hurdles at 14.60 seconds, a record that was previously set in 1987. Thomes, who qualified for the Class 2A state track and field meet as a junior for the Zebras last year, was also an all-district performer for the Grandview football team in his senior year.

“It’s a big honor for our program,” Grandview Coach Tommy Webb said. “Ben coming in the last two years has really put Grandview on the map as far as track. We’ve been on the map in a lot of different places, but every week, he represented himself and Grandview with a high level of competition. Everybody was trying to reach him. I had coach after coach saying, ‘My kid is trying to catch your kid because we’re trying to get better.’ I think that’s a great compliment to our program. He made our program better. He set the school record in two events that he was in. His name will be up on the board for a long time. I’m really big on school records. I think that’s a huge part. It’s important to win, but you’re representing your school and town, and a lot of times, that’s important as anything else.

“For him to do what he’s done, he’s worked hard. There’s no supplement for that. It started as soon as football was over, even with a broken wrist, he was still out there doing the stuff he needed to do. When we started track season, he just kept getting better and better. He just kept building. He’s going to get a chance to move on and do something that’s representing not only our school, but for himself. He has a great future. He’s one of the finest young men I’ve had the privilege to be around. We’re going to miss him more than we know. He’s shown a lot of the younger kids we have the way you need to work and practice.”

Thomes said he has greatly enjoyed his year-and-a-half at Grandview High School, and he’s appreciative of what he, along with his Zebra teammates, have accomplished over the past year.

“I’m in awe,” he said. “I have to thank Jesus first of all. Without Him, I’m nothing. He gave me the ability. For a while, I had to figure out what I was doing. It was all a learning experience from beginning to end. When I finally figured out what hard work really was, I was able to put it into practice. When I accomplished that, I was able to move forward from there. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I love the coaches here. I just love the school and I’m grateful for all of this.”

Now, Thomes will continue his athletic career as a decathlon athlete for UTA.

“UTA just has a really strong program,” Thomes said. “I was interested in the decathlon because of my size. I’m a strong hurdler. But I’m not the best DI overall athlete. I’m not quite to that level yet. I could be one day, just not there yet. But I’m more of a well-rounded kind of guy, so I figured that would be the best event for me.”

The decathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of ten track and field events. Traditional decathlons are broken up into a two-day contest. Events included in the decathlon include the long jump, shot put, high jump, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and several different running events.

Thomes said the UTA track and field program has a solid foundation in place to help him improve as an athlete.

“They’re going to have a pretty deep coaching staff, so I’m looking forward to learning these new events that I’ve never tried before,” Thomes said. “I hope to go out and not be the master of any of them, but be the jack of all trades kind of guy, like all dec guys are. I hope to go out and score some good points for them and just excel.

In his junior year for Grandview, Thomes advanced to the state meet in the 110-meter hurdles. This year, he qualified for regionals in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles.

Thomes said he plans on nursing as his major.

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