Bob Hayes Invitational full of history

54th annual Bob Hayes Invitational will take place Sat. at Raines High School

By Brian Jackson - Digital sports reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Saturday will mark the 54th Annual Bob Hayes Invitational Track and Field Meet. Over the years this meet has grown into the largest high school track and field even in the entire country. 

Over 2,000 athletes are expected to compete at Raines High School on Saturday. They will represent well over 200 different high schools from all over the state of Florida and as far away as Chicago and Ohio. 

As this event continues to grow one thing remains the same. You can count on Nathaniel Washington to be present for Saturday’s competition. 

Washington founded the Bob Hayes Invitational and has never missed a single year. Now 92-years old, Washington doesn’t plan on missing this event any time soon. 

“Just imagine 54 years of dedication and commitment to something that is beyond the sight of what any man could’ve imagined,” said Washington during Tuesday’s press conference. “When we started the Bob Hayes meet we were running from the sand to the gravel with no track and no equipment. But we just knew that GOD had put within us something that needed to be developed. Flowers grow by being fertilized with water. The coaches of Jacksonville put in their minds that our kids should have this and it was their mission and they’ve really worked hard. Some of those coaches have gone on beyond now, but their seed is still planted within the kids of this city.”

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