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Letter to the Editor: Need To Address Running Tracks

— You will be pleased to know that Alexandria School system students performed well at the Hershey Track and Field Event on June 22. The 4x100 team from Mount Vernon Recreation Center was barely edged out and took second place. The team from Charles Houston Recreation Center finished in third place. An Alexandria student also took first place in the long jump. They should be commended.

What happened before the race is the purpose of this letter. Days prior to the race, the team looked for a place to practice. They went to the George Washington Middle School Track, and faced with appalling conditions, were unable to practice there. They went to the T.C. Williams High School, only to find the school was having a large function and the parking lot totally full. They then went to Francis Hammond Middle School as the only other location in the entire city with a running track. While the track was in excellent condition, a lack of the regulation markings on the track prevented them from practicing the baton hand-off crucial to a relay race. Nonetheless, they made do with what they had, and went on to proudly represent themselves and the city. Would a properly marked running track have been able to make up the less than one-second difference between the winner and second place? We will never know, but hopefully future track athletes will not have to ask, and the running track at Francis Hammond will receive the regulation markings it needs and deserves.

Gary Carr