For the past four decades the Bob Hayes Invitational Track meet has been a focal point for young track and field participants throughout the United States. The meet’s namesake, native son Bob Hayes was a Matthew Gilbert High School graduate and Florida A&M sprinter that was dubbed “Bullet Bob” for his dominance of the sprints from 60 to 100 yards. Hayes came to the world’s attention in 1964, was the first person to run 100 yards in 9.1 seconds and also held the world record for sixty yards at 5.9 seconds. He was awarded two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics. He also excelled in football and is a member of the NFL Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.
This year the 53rd Bob Hayes Hall Invitational Track and Field Meet festivities will commence with the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet featuring keynote speaker Councilman Reggie Brown. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet members of the Olympic Legends, witness the presentation of the Bob Hayes Community Service Awards and also the Bob Hayes Hall of Fame inductees.
During the weekend, over 100 teams will compete in the meets for middle and high school students. Held at Earl Kitchings Stadium at William Raines High School, the celebrated event will feature participants traveling as far as Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. “The most exciting year was 2002 where over 200 teams competed for the wining trophy,” said Meet organizer Coach James Day. “That was also the year Bob Hayes died. The excitement continues and is the greatest show of athletes in southeast Florida,” he continued. Day has been involved in the meet since its inception. R. Silver Photo