Emily Thomas enjoys life on the run.
The 22-year-old Camas High School and Gonzaga University graduate is just hitting her stride. Next, she’s off to Regis University, in Denver, to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
“It’s just one more year after my master’s,” she said. “Might as well go for it all and become a doctor by the time I’m 25. Then I can really start my life.”
Thomas said this with a chuckle. She knows the next three years of graduate studies are going to be challenging, but she sees it as just another finish line to cross.
“I didn’t lead the normal college lifestyle. I chose two things, running and school, and I don’t regret it for a second,” Thomas said. “I’m just programmed that way. My parents are big on having to work for everything you have. When you’re juggling school and athletics, you don’t have time for anything else. If you set your goals, and they are important enough to you, you can get what you want.”
Thomas turned into a successful distance runner for Gonzaga, but it wasn’t by design. She ran cross country in high school to train for basketball and softball. Just as she started to discover her potential as a runner, Thomas broke a bone in her foot during the last few weeks of her senior season and was unable to compete at the state meet.