On Saturday, August 16, Sam Grelck captured the title of the boys cross country race for freshmen and sophomores at the annual Bay Six Kickoff Classic in North Carolina. That wasn’t particularly surprising or extraordinary in any way. It’s the way that he won it that stands out; he was redirected on to the course after taking a wrong turn by the very athlete who would have otherwise beat him.
As reported by the News & Observer, Grelck, a budding star for Cardinal Gibbons High, was leading the race comfortably when he failed to make a turn in the course. As he sped away he heard a voice in the distance behind him; it was second-fastest runner at the phase, Holly Springs runner Gavin Kinkead, letting Grelck know that he was suddenly off course.
The Gibbons runner quickly redirected and raced back to catch Kinkead and win the race. As for Kinkead, he finished third but still emerged as the talk of the event.
“Gavin, as a sophomore, has been thrown into being in a leadership position on a very young team,” said Holly Springs coach Scott Myers. “We have only one senior in our top 10, and six of the top 10 are either freshmen or sophomores.
“Gavin’s actions on Saturday were a sign that he is accepting this role. We, the coaches, are very proud of his actions on Saturday.”
For his part, Kinkead insisted he only did what he thought was right.
“I’d rather lose a race and know I lost fair and square then to win by elimination,” Kinkead said. “He was pushing me to stay with him the entire race and to watch him lose by going the wrong way would not have been right.