PRC pair runs to titles
Imagine a football team that doesn’t have its own field to practice on or host games making it to the state championship.
Or think about the odds facing a basketball team or a baseball squad making it to the biggest stage in the state without having a court or a diamond on which to hone their skills.
On the surface, the fact that Pearl River Central High School runners Caston Dyle and Kyla Reagan have ran their way to the Class 4A state finals on Friday in Pearl may not be that earth-shattering.
But the fact that they don’t have one, a surface that is, to run on, makes the feat even more impressive.
Dyle and Reagan are the first PRC athletes in at least five years to make it to the state finals, doing so despite the fact that the school has no track and the runners are forced to practice in an open field in front of the school.
“Considering the circumstances, the kids have done a tremendous job to get to where they are,” PRC boy’s track coach Marty Lee said. “They have never once used not having a track as an excuse not to try and get better. All of the kids on the team just try and improve each day.”
Both Dyle, a senior, and Reagan, just a freshman, both won South State championships on Saturday in Gulfport. Dyle captured the 800 meter run and Reagan the 1,600 meters.
Dyle, also a standout on the PRC football team, made it to the South State meet last year but came up just short of earning a trip to the state finals.
“Caston set a goal for himself this year to make it to the state meet,” Lee added. “He was determined to get there.”
Reagan, though, burst on to the scene in her first year of competition as a thinclad.
“We really didn’t know what to expect from her,” PRC girls coach Heather White said. “She played soccer, so she was in good shape when she came out but it has been amazing they way she has picked it up so quickly.”
The two runners, along with the rest of the PRC track teams, have an orange traffic cone along with a garbage can set up in the practice field to measure distance for their practice runs.
Dyle and Reagan almost had a third teammate join them in the state finals, as freshman runner Jessica Guillot was third in the 300 meter hurdles heading into the last hurdle but fell and finished sixth.
“There’s been some talk about getting a track built, so hopefully we’ll get there one day,” Lee concluded.