By ZE’MIRAH HARRIS, KYLA GREENFIELD, TATIANA EASON, and ANTHONY EVANS
It has been an incredible week for the Goldsboro High School cross-country team and one of its coaches.
It started on Tuesday when the men’s team took home what Athletic Director Dwight Sutton characterized as the Cougars’ first-ever East Central Conference Season Championship.
Jyrei Thompson and Donovan Jones came in first and second place, respectively, so we talked to them to figure out just how it felt to be a part of something historic.
“It felt good,” Jyrei told the Pride. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to be a part of — something that I always wanted to accomplish while in high school.”
Donovan agreed and said he was “happy that I came in the top three.”
But running is about far more for Jyrei than winning a conference championship. For this young man, it’s a way out.
“I think about it a lot — to not stop, to not fall, don’t walk, getting to the finish line,” he said. “This something you can go to college for. For myself and my family, this is something that can get (us) out of here.”
Second-year Coach Michael Arnold, a seasoned marathon runner who earned conference Coach of the Year honors at the meet, was beaming with pride.
“I had a really good feeling about them because they had really been coming in all year. I’m really proud of them — Jyrei and Donovan, especially, he had really surprised me with how good he was doing. I had no idea he was such a good distance runner. I almost bust out a tear because I was so happy and so proud.”
He downplayed his own achievement, but told the Pride that “it’s a great honor to win, and to be a cross-country coach for GHS.”
But the men were not the only ones to bring home some hardware this week. The Lady Cougars won the Wayne County Championship Friday. For more on their title, and some words from their coach, Ms. Orsoco, follow the Pride.