Gros signs to run at SLU

ACHS track and field senior sprinter Thomas Gros signs his letter of intent to the Southeastern Louisiana University Tuesday at the ACHS gym.

When ACHS senior Thomas Gros realized he wasn’t running as fast as he needed to get the attention of college coaches, he decided to reach out to them. So he did, which put him in contact with Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Little did he know that as the season progressed so would his speed. Tuesday, Gros signed a scholarship to run for SLU’s track and field team, just weeks after finishing third place in the LHSAA 1A State Track and Field meet in the 200-meter dash in a time of 22.33 seconds.

“The big thing with Thomas was he started from the get-go,” Rocky Capello said, ACHS track and field coach. “When we started practicing for indoor track in December, he was there, he didn’t miss any workouts.”

In Gros’s first performance on the 200-meter dash event in 2013, he was clocked at 24.42. At the state meet, he bettered that by two seconds and Capello said he got his base work in, endurance and strength, and his speed came in at the end which was perfect timing.

“He worked hard and he earned everything he got,” Capello said.

Gros admits his indoor track times weren’t too good, and said that even after his speed was picking up he still wanted to stay in contact with SLU despite other coaches showing interest.

“It feels awesome,” Gros said, who also finished fifth in the state in the javelin throw. “Starting out, not being able to really do anything and working hard to get where I wanted is a real good feeling.”

At the state meet, Gros said he got out to a bad start in the 200-meter dash, but was able to recover. He said he knew he’d make top-four but not so sure about getting on the podium.

Capello said it’s an exciting time for ACS as well as him because Gros wanted to get to that level and “it’s exciting for me whenever my athletes go on to that next level.”

Capello said he thinks Gros will do fine collegiately and he thinks Gros can be special in anything from the 100-meter dash to the 800-meter dash.

“I think the next few years will be special for him and I’m looking forward for good things to come,” Capello said.

Gros echoed Capello and said he’ll be all right at SLU.

“I think I’ll be able to help them out and score points at conference.”