High school wins state track and field title with no track at school
PAGELAND, SC - It's a story you typically see in a movie… Imagine playing a sport, but you don't have the resources to practice, and still, your team goes on to be state champions.
Well that's exactly happened to a high school track and field team in Pageland, South Carolina.
Busted hurdles and one starting block known as "Old Rusty", that's what the Central High School track and field team had to use this season, but it didn't stop them from becoming state champions.
"Our conditions are bad," said Central High School Track and field Coach Billy Blakeney.
Blakeney showed WBTV around his team's practice facility, but there was no rubberized artificial running surface, just natural grass and dirt and hand painted lines to mark start and finish points.
"We got potholes. Running around the field, one of my guy's twisted his ankle one day right before a meet," said Blakeney.
Distance runner Devin Coleman says while competitors with a traditional track had advantages over his team, they weren't discouraged.
"They know their marks, their times and exchange zones but when you get to us, we're going in blind folded," said Coleman.
But this high school track and field team wasn't blinded when in the spotlight.
The team won County, Regional and Upper State tournaments and just this past weekend, the team was crowned this year's 2-AA state champions… all without even having a track to call their own.
"Just because we don't have a track, doesn't stop us from anything. I take it as, this is what made us better. It made us a championship team," said runner Travay Hatten.
"When it finally got to that moment, I couldn't believe it. It was amazing. One of the best feelings so far of my life," said Coleman.
"I just wanted to bust in tears crying," said runner Quan Welch.
Despite the obstacles in front of them, this special group of runners say there's a lesson to be learned from this, one that stretches beyond any playing field.
"I feel like you shouldn't let not having something stop you from being what you want to be," said Hatten.
Central High's track and field team's motto this year was "No track, No problem."
They defeated Bishop England of Greenville to capture the school's first state track and field title.
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