Pageland track team overcomes obstacle to win state

Pageland track team overcomes obstacle to win state


by RUSS OWENS / NBC Charlotte

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Posted on May 28, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 28 at 5:54 PM

PAGELAND, S.C. -- For the first time in school history, Central High School in Pageland, South Carolina, just won a track state title. It's something that captivated this team and the whole community.

"I won the state championship," said junior Travay Hatten, "The first state championship for Central and it's breathtaking."

"It's one of the greatest feelings I've ever had," said senior Devin Coleman.

"No one believed we could do it; we just went down there and did it," said junior Quan Welch.

"We got into state and we said now that we're in it, let's go win it," said Central head coach Billy Blakeney, "They believed in that thing all year, and our motto was 'Roll to State' and that's where it starts, on this very field."

And it is literally just a field, a football field, where the Eagles practice every day. That's because Central High School has no actual track.

"Other teams had tracks and we didn’t," said Hatten, "We knew that; we knew going into the track meet that we were behind other teams, almost like an underdog."

"We didn't focus on our conditions," said Blakeney, "Our mindset and our goal all year was to go win state. We have to live with what we got and make the best of it."

The Eagles certainly made the best of their situation, and what were some downright awful conditions at times.

"Running in pot holes, running around hills, running in high grass, there wasn't any obstacle they couldn't overcome," said Blakeney.

"I think not having a track helped us out even more than those who did have tracks," said Coleman, “It was a mind thing and the more you got motivated, the more you wanted to win."

And now the new state champs hope this new interest and fame will help them even more. Central is active in the community trying to raise money to finally get a track built at the high school.

"People want to be associated with winners," said Blakeney, "Being the first state champion from Central without a track, it just raised a lot of excitement and people want to be a part of that."

"We can build something here, we can go farther than what we just did," said Hatten.

The Eagles’ eyes are already on more championships in the future.