JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Student athletes from more than 100 schools across the nation are in Jacksonville for what's called the biggest high school track meet in the country.
The Bob Hayes Invitational Track and Field Meet is held every year and thousands of the best high school athletes take part.
The event has been around since 1964, in the spirit of Jacksonville’s Bob Hayes, a gold medal Olympian and Super Bowl winner.
“It gets better every year. It looks better every year. This year, especially because so many other tournaments have been eliminated, all of those people are coming to us now,” said coach Jimmy Day, executive director of the Bob Hayes Invitational Track and Field Meet.
For these athletes, it’s a great chance to compete against other top performing peers, who aspire to run at a much higher level.
“We have some of the best athletes in the world," said Day. "They come from New York, the Bahamas and, some years ago, even Canada.”
The event has become a Jacksonville staple. Throughout the year, there are other events that also raise money like banquets and a golf tournament.
“We’ve given over $84,000 in scholarships in the last few years," said Day. "That’s from this community. When I say this community, I’m talking about all of Jacksonville."