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Rudyard High School holds first home track meet in 20+ years

Two decades of fundraising paid off with a new track and field.

The #1 song in the United States in 2003 was In da Club by 50 Cent. 

The average cost of a gallon of gas in 2003 was around $1.50.

By the end of 2003, the national debt was $6.8 billion. Today it's just under $35 billion

And in 2003, Rudyard Area Schools had their last home track meet.

The track became dangerously dilapidated and worsened over the years. It was unusable.

Twenty-one years of no home track meets. Until Tuesday.

It marked a new beginning for Rudyard Area Schools as they hosted seven other schools in their first high school track meet in over two decades.

In those two decades, fundraiser after fundraiser was held to raise the nearly $500,000 needed to completely redo the track around the football field and improve the discuss, shot put, long jump and pole vault areas.

Tom McKee went to Rudyard Area Schools. He was in 6th grade when the last track meet was held at home.  

Today, at age 38, he is the Superintendent of the district.

"This is a great day for our community. Twenty-one years without a home track meet. We have a lot of people to thank through the years. A lot of community members stepped up to make this happen," McKee said.

McKee stressed that no tax payer money was used for the improvements. 

"We passed a bond but that does not go towards any of this.  So, ya know, just donations and the good will of the people.  It is nice that we can be back in Rudyard where it used to be the host of everything," McKee said.

Laurie Morley also went to Rudyard Area Schools and attended the meet Tuesday. 

"It’s a great atmosphere! It’s wonderful to see so many people out here from the nearby communities!
We are blessed to have a gorgeous day, which is also helping with the numbers.  I have seen several out of town alumni here supporting this milestone event.  The kids are excited and it’s great to be able to have a home event again.  It’s hard to believe that there have been about 20 years of students that didn’t get to experience this," Morley said.

Jim Suggitt is a 1988 graduate of Rudyard Area Schools and was also at the meet.

"It is great to see the excitement from the kids and the coaches! The community has been very supportive and it has been great for the middle school teams as well. Thanks to many people especially Sean Nicklas who kept this dream going for many years his efforts are really appreciated by many. It was great to see the crowd out today in support of all the kids. It is a great day to be a Bulldog!" Suggitt exclaimed.