BATON ROUGE – It’s unusual to see a track athlete turn in three, individual first-place finishes at a State Meet, much less four. It’s even more unusual to see a team finish as State runner-up with a team of just two runners.
Tyreck Wilson expected it, and it happened.
“I’m a little bit of a cocky person,” Wilson said. “When you have the mindset nobody’s going to beat you and you have people behind you to support you, you can do anything.”
Thursday in Baton Rouge at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track, Wilson became Class B’s State Champion in the 400 meter run, 800 meter run, 1600 meter run and 3200 meter run, an unprecedented accomplishment for Doyline.
Wilson’s good friend and only teammate, Jatavion Jackson turned in podium performances of his own.
Jackson finished second in the triple jump at 42’6” and added a third place finish in the long jump (20’5”).
“When he’s jumping I’m right there cheering him on,” Wilson said. “We talked before the meet about how coach told us we could do something great and I told him let’s go do it.”
The Panther duo finished second in the State, earning the title of State runner-up, despite competing against teams twice and triple their size.
Panther boys track coach Michael Normand beamed over the duo’s grit and determination to bring the trophy home to Doyline and Webster Parish.
“It was one of the most impressive, jaw-dropping things I’ve seen as a coach,” Normand said. “Jatavion improved his position in both events on his last jumps. The heart and mental toughness from Tyreck was amazing.”
Like Wilson, Normand said Thursday’s success wasn’t something out of thin air, but something the three spoke about almost one month ago.
“We sat down and I told them this was possible,” Normand said. “I told them it would be extremely tough.”
The grueling grind of track season wore them down, but they stuck too their goal.
Now, they’re in rare air.
“It will definitely go down in Doyline lore,” Normand said. “These two boy gave everything they had to me and each other; great day to be a Panther.”
Jackson will be back to try and win a State Championship next season, while Wilson will graduate this week and move on to the next phase of life.
“It’s something I’ll never forget,” Wilson said. “I had nothing but fun here at Doyline. I enjoyed all the great people here who always gave me support. I’m glad to say I’m a Panther.”