Sam Grelck of Cardinal Gibbons was leading the preseason Bay Six Kickoff Classic cross country race for freshmen and sophomores on Aug. 16 when he made a wrong turn, or more precisely, he went straight when he should have turned.
Gavin Kinkead of Holly Springs, who was in second place at the time, shouted to Grelck to bring him back to the course. Grelck went on to win (9:37.5), but Kinkead, who finished third (9:45.2), was the talk of the meet.
“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.”
Kinkead said he just did was 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.
“It was just a instinct to tell him that he was going the wrong way. He pushed me that race and I wanted to watch him win even if that means I help him out in some places. I did not even think about it when I had done it; it kind of just happened.”
Myers said for Apex coach Roy Cooper, the preseason workout organizer, to recognize Kinkead in the aftermath was good for all of the runners.
“It says volumes. Coach Cooper is one of the best cross country coaches in the state and runs a highly respected program,” Myers said.
“I think MarQus and Marque go way back and have been in coaching clinics together and have a bond,” said Todd Schuler, the Gibbons athletics director. “This is a great opportunity for Marque.”
Ryan has high school and college coaching experience and has two children at Gibbons.
“Jim is a great fit for us,” Schuler said. “He really understands the culture and our athletics program. We’re certainly sorry to see Marque go, but the transition should be an easy one for us. We have a lot of confidence in Jim.”
Green Hope basketball guard Jack Costigan, a senior, committed to UNC-Asheville.
J. Mike Blake contributed to this article.