Driven. That’s the best way to describe Alice Lloyd’s Jimmy Noble. You can see it in his eyes. You can feel it in his voice. He wants to win, and it’s obvious that he has the necessary hunger and passion to do just that.
Some athletes get by on sheer ability, and others have one, all-encompassing talent that brings them across the finish line; but, for Jimmy, he gets there by his strong will, athleticism, and sense of purpose. You can’t coach those things. Some people are just born that way.
If you ever lose track of him, you’ll see Jimmy running on-campus or on the shoulder of the road. He runs with a determined look on his face and a steely gaze. It’s as if he’s trying to run away from something or someone, but what’s certain is that he won’t stop until he’s managed to do it. There is no quit in this young man. He’s a fighter.
“I credit that to my parents,” Jimmy says. “They push me every single day. Whenever I feel like I’ve done bad, they are always there in my mind to push me and help me grow as a person.”
Jimmy’s parents — John and Ruth Noble — raised him in Buckhorn, a scenic and close-knit little town deep in the mountains. He first became interested in running as a kid, after he’d won second place in a race. For the last seven years, he has made running his primary focus, and, in that time, he has achieved great success. Coached by his brother, John Noble, Jr., Jimmy represented Buckhorn High School in state competition for four straight years. In his senior year, he was named to the All-Region Cross Country Team and was ranked No. 4 in his area.
Since coming to ALC, Jimmy has had some stellar results. This season he placed second in the Knott County “Run for Change” 5K Race and third in the UPike Invitational. In the latter race, he picked up a bronze medal.
“It felt good to win it,” Jimmy said. “It was my first college medal.” He placed some emphasis on “first.”
Jimmy is a quiet, somewhat shy, and soft-spoken fellow, but he’s serious about what he does — he plans to keep right on winning. And, as he set personal record times with each race throughout the 2012 Cross Country season, it’s clear that he has a taste for it now.
“I’m motivated and determined,” he said, his voice growing louder. “I set my mind on a goal and stay focused on that. Right now, Greg (Randolph; Noble’s teammate at ALC) really pushes me. We have two totally different styles, but we learn from each other. We make each other better.”
Alice Lloyd’s Cross Country team has made excellent progress with the additions of Noble and Randolph. Gary Stepp, ALC’s tenacious athletic director and cross country coach, stays hot on the recruiting trail, and Jimmy has been right there with him, helping his coach build a promising team. The season ended well, and Jimmy insists that next season will be even better due to the fact that everyone has room to improve.
“I’ve got big goals of my own,” he continued. “I want to get my five-mile time down into the high 27s or low 28s by the end of this year. By my last two years in college, I want to make it to the National Championships.”