The senior has been competing for Woodland High for four years and has qualified for state each time and that’s probably the reason for her next trip — to Jacksonville, Ala., where she will run for Jacksonville State University.
David Holloway, Woodland coach, said Thompson is a steady performer who is a team leader as well as a top performer.
“Jacksonville State is getting a good athlete,” Holloway said. “She’s been hampered by injuries this year. She’s starting to get healthier. Hopefully she’ll keep getting better, and she’ll do well for them.”
He said Thompson is the second member of the girls team to sign with Jacksonville this spring, adding teammate Samantha Patterson also will be a member of the JSU athletic team.
“Idraiah should have some friends also going there and participating,” he said.
The coach said Thompson is a competitor in multiple events.
“She is a sprinter,” Holloway said. “She can do anything 400 down. She runs our 100-meter dash. She does the 200-meter dash. She has the school record in both of those events. She’s on the 4X100 meter relay and the 4X400 meter relay teams. She’s our anchor leg and has been that for three or four years.”
He said she has been an outstanding performer during her tenure at Woodland. “She does a real good job for us. She’s been setting records, and she’s been a very consistent member of the team when she hasn’t been hurt.
“We’re thrilled that she was able to continue on to run at the next level.”
Holloway said the team looks to Thompson.
“She’s one of our captains for our sprinters,” he said. “She leads the team through the warmups. She encourages others. She has a very good work ethic. They are getting a very good athlete. As soon as she gets healthy, I think she’ll compete right away at the next level.”
Thompson said Woodland’s athletic program helps its athletes many ways.
“My stay at Woodland has been awesome,” she said. “They give you a lot of support here. They do a lot to make sure they help you not only academically but sports-wise, too. There’s a good balance between that.”
She said her participation in running predates her stay at Woodland, however.
“I was just fast as a kid,” she said. “I always thought I could beat everybody. So I thought, ‘Why not do it?’”
Thompson said her success as a runner also has required a lot of effort on her part.
“You have to work really hard, but it all pays off in the end,” she said. “It starts off really hard but the more you work at it and perfect your craft, the easier it gets. You have to fight, but after you pass the finish line it’s worth it.”
She said her senior year at Woodland was difficult because she injured her hamstring and pulled a muscle, but she’s leaving those problems behind her.
Just last weekend she qualified in the 100 meter with a time of 12:54, the eighth fastest time turned in and the fourth time in a row she has qualified for state, which is being held this weekend.
Thompson added she was drawn to the Alabama college because of its nursing program, but she also was interested in the school’s athletic program.
“I went on my visit, and I just fell in love,” she added.
Thompson starts at JSU in August.