The 9th Annual Eddie Hart and Ralph Ligons Track Meet brought a milestone and broken records.
Club member Tommy Wickerd reached his 1,000 mile mark after he completed the one-mile race. Meanwhile, Markelle Taylor shattered his one-mile record with 4:50.52, by 13.48 seconds.
“I put in the hard work,” said Wickerd. “What better day to reach that milestone than today. It’s priceless to have Eddie Hart here. He inspires me and my grandpa Wickerd. He used to run track bare-foot.”
Taylor’s lightning speed had him coasting in easily for the win.
“He threw down,” said Hart. “That’s what records are about—to be broken.”
Hart definitely knows about speed and breaking records. He won a gold metal in 4 x 100 relay at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. He set the world record in the 100 in the Olympic trials.
He missed his chance for gold in the 100, which he has chronicled in his book Disqualified.
“It’s a blessing to hang out with the fellas,” he said. “This is real-world stuff; it’s not a lot of fluff here.”
A new record was set in the 4 x 400m relay by Carlos Moreno, Oscar Aguilar, Donald “Tex” Walker and Taylor with the time of 3:47.34 beating the old record by 20.66 seconds. Taylor even lapped their opponents.
Walker won the 100-yard dash with the time of 0:12.63, beating last year’s winner, Aguilar. Lorinzo Hopson, who won the 100 with the time of 0:14.04 for the 50-and-up age group. Dennis Barnes took second with 0:16.46.
“I’ve been working out with Markelle,” said Walker. “I wanted to be an asset to get the record.”
Hopson added, “It felt like I ran more than the 100 yards, but my ultimate job was to push the rest of the guys in their races.”
Jonathan Cannon won the 200 easily with the time of 0:25.84. Michael Wilson was a distant second with the time of 0:27.44. Wilson has become one of the most improved runners; he went from a 13-minute mile to 6:50.
“It was a challenge,” said Cannon. “I will start back training; I’m going for some records.”
Wilson added, “This program taught me not to give up. It’s about persistence and determination.”
John Levin took the 200 for the 50 and up with 0:30.3. Kenny Rodgers finished in second in 0:31.48.
“I think that’s my first win,” said Levin. “I never liked running before. Now I enjoy it.”
Chris Sculls won the half-mile race in 2:41.27 with poise and good technique.
“I left my heart out there,” said Sculls. “I’m honored to be a part of this day.”
The iron man of the day was Jonathan Chiu, who ran in every race.
“I think we all should be involved when we have great people coming in from the outside,” said Chiu. “We are a team even though we compete with each other; that’s what makes this program special.”