Winona track coach Chris McRae thought that sprinter T.J. Forrest was one of the best 400-meter runners in the state.
After winning the Class 3A 400-meter state championship, Forrest was named to the Clarion-Ledger’s All-state track team. There were only 20 players selected to the team.
“It’s a great honor and it’s well deserved,” McRae said. “He is a great kid and has earned everything he has gotten. We got him as a sophomore and he immediately bought in. He was a pleasure to coach. He came out there every day and worked his butt off. He earned this honor.”
McRae said it’s the third Winona track athlete to earn the all-state honor from the Clarion-Ledger in his five years at the school.
McRae said it’s a testament to what Forrest did every day in practice.
“I think what you do on the track is a result of what you do every day during the week to get ready to run on the weekends,” McRae said. “Every day he went out there, he pushed himself and the workouts get harder as the season goes on. But he never complained or questioned. He loved the program and ate up the workouts. And he set the tone for everybody else. He was going to push himself to win every day. He has a lot of God-given ability and he also has a willingness to put in the hard work. When you do that, you have something special.”
McRae signed to run track at Hinds Community College, one of three junior college track program in the state.
“I think his best times are ahead of him,” McRae said. “With his athletic ability, there’s no telling how good he can be. When he gets to Hinds, they will be able to give him more specialized work and I think he will only get better. Here I had boys and girls and high school and junior high and had to work with everybody in all the events. Hinds is one of the better programs for the sprints and they think he has a bright future.
“Once you get to the junior college, your recruiting starts all over again. You have to continue to post good times but there’s really no telling where he could eventually end up. Like I said, he’s a hard-working kid and very deserving.”