Loyalty and passion are two cherished character traits. Bristow has been an example of both since arriving in Richmond prior to the 2008-09 season.
After serving as a graduate assistant and part time assistant in her first two years with VCU women’s track & field program, Bristow was hired as a full-time coach for the newly combined men’s and women’s track and field programs. She joined the team prior to the 2010-11 season to oversee the pole vault, multi-events and the high jump.
Bristow coached Stephanie Newing to a school-record leap of 3.70m breaking the record set by Lauren Stewart. During Newing’s career, Thomas helped guide her to break the school record multiple times, before the 3.70m jump.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented and committed team of coaches and athletes at VCU,” Bristow said. “I’ve have a passion for athletic competition and coaching since I was young. The VCU track & field program has been moving in an outstanding direction, and I look forward to taking it to an even higher level.”
While overseeing the high jump, Bristow has helped many outstanding athletes, including standout Allison Morris. Bristow's guidance helped lead Morris to a top-three mark on VCU’s top 10 list and to a second place finish in the CAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
A four-year standout member of the women’s track & field team at the University of Maine, Bristow was a consistent contender in the pole vault at the America East Indoor and Outdoor Championships. She finished in the top eight at the New England Indoor and Outdoor Championships in three of her six appearances.
Away from athletic competition, Bristow was just as excellent, graduating cum laude with a B.S. in Kinesiology and Physical Education as well as earning her teaching certification. She was also named to the America East Academic Honor Roll during all four years. In 2009, Bristow graduated summa cum laude with a M.S. in Sports Management from VCU. Bristow is also certified as a USA Track and Field Level 1 coach.
Bristow is a member of the USTFCCCA and is continuing her education in coach with the program. Recently she completed her 201 certification with USTFCCCA.
The Auburn, Maine native got her first taste of coaching during her college days when she was a youth and middle school soccer coach and as a volunteer pole vault coach at her alma matter Edward Little High School, where she coached numerous state meet contenders and a state champion.