Dominique Wright has an infectious smile, a profound spirituality and the type of God-given ability that defies the fact that this is the first year the Blue Springs South junior has participated in track and field.

Dominique Wright has an infectious smile, a profound spirituality and the type of God-given ability that defies the fact that this is the first year the Blue Springs South junior has participated in track and field.
“He’s special – very, very special,” South track coach Troy Harding said after Wright dominated the field in the 200 meters at last Saturday’s Class 4 sectional with a meet-record time of 21.91 seconds. “We knew he had the potential to be something special early in the season when he beat (Blue Springs’ Jordan) Dodd. And he’s just a junior.
“We’re all excited about this year and what he might do at state this weekend, but the future is really looking good for Dominique.”
Harding paused for a moment, and added, “And he’s even a better kid than he is a runner. And that’s saying something.”
He’s become Mr. Wright for the South track team, as he claimed the lone area boys’ victory in that sectional meet. After emerging as one of the area’s top receivers in football last fall while he helped lead the Jaguars to the Class 6 state championship game, Wright has emerged in the last few weeks as a force on the track as well.
“Dominique doesn’t even know how good he can be,” said teammate Derrion Thomas, who was thought to be the premier 200 runner in the area and one of the top ones in the state until he was slowed down by a nagging leg injury. “I’m trying to get him ready for state, because the first time you go it’s just all so overwhelming. You’re coming down the backstretch and look into the stands and see all those people and it’s like, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that many people at a track meet.’
“He could do something pretty special at state. It’s going to be fun to watch and fun to compete against him.”
While they will compete against each other in the 200, Wright and Thomas are part of the 400 relay team that will also compete at state, with Wright running the second leg and Thomas anchoring the team.
Chris Gilyard runs the first leg and Cameron Davis the third – in place of Wright’s older brother, Winston, who suffered a hamstring injury that ended his track season.
“I’m not just running for my teammates and my school, I’m running for Winston and my family and God,” Wright said before beginning a Wednesday afternoon practice session. “I am so blessed. I don’t know why I have this ability. I just know it is all God given. At the first of the year, I wasn’t even thinking about running track, but my father said it would help me for football.
“Now, I really love track. And I love to watch my father and Winston in the stands when I run. It’s like they’re running with me.”
Wright’s father, Leo Wright, was a standout sprinter at Raytown South High School, where he graduated from in 1988. Leo’s best time in the 200 was 21.7 – a time Dominique hopes to equal or better this weekend.
“I made some bad choices in high school, and I’m so proud of my sons that they are making wonderful choices,” said Leo, who scratched at sectionals while competing at Raytown South and never had the chance to compete in a state meet. “I will be honest with you. I see myself in Dominque, but I don’t live my life through my boys.”
The older Wright said he is happy for all of his children.
“I am so proud of them and their little sister, Terrae,” he said. “My wife, Yona, and I are so blessed. We know that Dominique will be running for his entire family this weekend, and we are so excited about going to state.
“He’s getting to do something that I never had the chance to do. And he’s just a junior. I want him to run 21.7. I want him to have the fastest time in the family.”
Thomas and Harding believe it could happen.
“Dominique is so good, so fast he could do just about anything and it wouldn’t surprise me,” Thomas said, grinning.
Added Harding: “To do what he’s done this year, in his first year of track, is pretty amazing. It should be a fun weekend.”