Rocky's Thompson is the silent sprinter with big results

Posted Online: April 03, 2013, 9:05 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
Mystique Thompson's quiet personality makes the Rock Island junior sprinter dislike being interviewed.

"I don't know what to say," Thompson said.

Even in a casual setting, she rarely opens up.

"I don't like talking," Thompson said. "Not even in front of a class."

Running provides all of her words.

When it comes time to talk the talk, Thompson displays a shy side. Asked to walk the walk, this week's Metro Pacesetter for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus handles her business.

"There are different kinds of leaders," Rocky coach Michelle Lillis said. "She definitely is a leader by example. Everybody always doesn't have to be that verbal kind of leader. That's not her forte."

Is Thompson ever chatty? Lillis says she is "occasionally."

Other than that, there are few words.

"She talks about what (the team) needs to do," Lillis said. "She's not a big, big talker."

What she can do is run.

Entering the season, Thompson is a five-time state medalist who could become the most decorated athlete in Illinois Quad-Cities Metro girls' track history. Thompson started her career by setting a meet record in her first open race and has continued it since.

During the Shipley Invitational on Saturday, she won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and ran the open leg on the Rocks' title-winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

"I try to run and help my team out," Thompson said. "I try to be the best I can and run really fast."

Through two-plus seasons, she already has her name on four school records -- the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x200 -- and was a key cog in Rocky's back-to-back Western Big 6 Conference titles.

In the midst of an already decorated career, Thompson will not remind you or her opponents of the accomplishments. Most times, she does not say anything at all.

No trash talking or gloating.

"I wish (my opponents) good luck," Thompson said.

Throughout her career, that is how she has been.

"Uh huh," Thompson said.

All of her energy is spent being a talented sprinter.

"She just pays attention to what she needs to do," Lillis said. "She wants to be good."

As consistent as she has been on the track in her career, Thompson maintains that level off it as well. Victories feature no celebration and hardly any reaction.

When the inevitable interview happens, she follows the same script.

A couple of words and total focus on the next race.

"There's no need to talk," Thompson said. "I don't know what to say."

Those who watch Thompson on the track each day cannot think of a moment where she would open up.

"Not really," Lillis said. "She doesn't go overboard like that. Honestly, she is happier if what she does contributes to the team win than if she wins herself."

Leaders tend to act that way, something Thompson does on a consistent basis. Epitomizing the theory that actions speak louder than words, she works hard to be at her best for the team.

Just like the interviews, Thompson's quiet about it.

"This is my third time doing this," Thompson said. "I should know what to say right now. I have no idea."

Metro Pacesetter - Rock Island's Mystique Thompson

Favorite restaurant: Osaka
Favorite class: Anatomy and physiology with Mr. Campbell
Favorite team: Chicago Bulls
Favorite event: 200-meter dash
Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
Parent: Lolita Payne, Rock Island
In the running
Anna Noe, Alleman: Recorded the shutout in goal as the Pioneers earned a 3-0 victory at Princeton.
Michael Daniels, Geneseo: Opened the season with a .615 batting average, .688 on-base percentage and six RBIs, helping the Maple Leafs to a 4-0 start.
Hannah Navarette, Moline: Recorded a hat trick in the Maroons' 9-0 win over Pekin.
Austin Webster, United Township: Won the A-Flight 1600- and 3200-meter races at the Shipley Invitational.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)