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Holley celebrates first meet on new track
Holley, N.Y. -- For a sport that's all about speed, the Holley track team had to wait a very long time to get a real running track. But finally, for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Hawks crossed the finish line on their home turf Wednesday.
It was a special occasion for the community, as it marked the first time Holley Middle and High School hosted a meet since 1975.
"It's very exciting," said Krista Radford, a Holley track alum who watched her daughter run in the first race at the school's new track. "I mean, it's been a long time coming for Holley. We've had a track team with no track, and it's nice to finally see we can all come and watch."
Hawks track star Emily Radford said it's the only time she was more excited to stand behind the starting line than to be the first to cross the finish line. In her fourth year on the varsity team, Radford said it was great to be able to compete at home.
"You have like your whole team out there supporting you," she said. "And to see people like all around the track helps you, so that's always nice."
Holley assistant coach Dan Goodwin said it's an experience he's wanted to give his track team since he restarted the program in 1998, the was the same year the school tore out the old cinder track.
"When they first tore out that track, I thought, 'Oh, that's a good thing. We'll get a new track,'" he said.
But things moved much slower than he expected. For 16 years, the track team grew in both size and success -- all without a track.
Goodwin said coaches had to get creative in ways to train runners, but the move from a gravel circle to a real running track has already improved the team's times.
"When the kids can actually get out there and say these are the lanes on a track, these are the exchange zones, this is the actual pit and they have the actual facilities to practice in, it's fantastic," he said.
Now the school's largest sports team, Goodwin said the new track will really help the Hawks take off. "We've been very competitive and we hope to keep building on that tradition and set some of our own records here on this track."