The 52nd annual Bob Hayes Hall of Fame Invitational Track and Field events were held March 13 – 19, 2016 with a variety of events honoring the local sports legend. Festivities included a golf tournament, worship service, Game Officials Dinner, sports clinics, cook-out and a formal banquet culminating in the largest one day track and field event in the United States.
This year’s banquet, held at the Lexington Hotel, recognized and lauded outstanding high school coaches and game officials throughout the state. Local high school graduates and former NFL football players were on hand to pay homage to their friend, role model and legend, Bob Hayes.
Attending the event and addressing the audience were Dr. Marvin Zanders, II, Coach Nathanial Washington, Willie Johnson, Dr. Theresa Hodge and Greg Coleman. The event was keynoted by University of Florida Cross Country Track and Field Head Coach Mike Holloway.
On Saturday, the real true test of stamina took place at the annual meet on the grounds of Raines High School. Thousands of attendees witnessed over 4,000 students from schools across the country who competed in relay runs, meter dashes, pole vaults, high jumps, long jumps and discus competitions. For the past four decades the Bob Hayes Invitational Track meet has been a focal point for young track and field participants from the southeastern United States. The overall scores and tallies were listed on the scoreboards and can be reviewed at www.deltatiming.com.
The history books distinguish Robert Lee “Bullet Bob” Hayes as an Olympic sprinter turned American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. After graduating from Matthew Gilbert High School, Bob Hayes was dubbed “Bullet Bob” for his dominance of the sprints from 60 to 100 yards while a student at FAMU. Hayes came to the world’s attention in 1964 and 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. A muscular 5 feet eleven inches and 190 pounds, he also excelled in football and is a member of the NFL Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor.