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Sunday, March 3, 2024


March 18, 2003 — Flavel Blyden III competed on March 15 at the 39th Annual Bob Hayes Invitational Track Meet in Jacksonville, Fla. A total of 159 schools from five states competed.
Flavel, son of Coast Guard Electronics Chief Warrant Officer Flavel Blyden Jr. and the former Cheryl D. Hector, both of St. Thomas, placed fifth in the boys 110-meter hurdles. He competed for Duncan U. Fletcher High School, Neptune Beach, Fla., for his third year in this meet.
The meet honors the late Bob Hayes, an Olympic champion and 11-year Dallas Cowboy. Hayes remains the only athlete to win both a Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. His relay split time of 8.6 in the 1864 Olympics stood until Tim Montgomery broke the record in 2002. For all 38 meets, Hayes had come on the field at intermission to shake hands, take pictures, and talk with the athletes. He died before this year's event, but athletes and community members honored his memory.
"It was special to meet Bob," Flavel said, quoted in an article by sportswriter Emily Mosier of The Florida Times-Union. "It is a great honor to compete here in his honor."
Flavel, a graduating senior at Fletcher, plans to attend Norfolk (Va.) State University where he will compete in track and field and major in computer science. Born in Virginia, he attended schools in Virginia, Puerto Rico and Florida. He began competing in track and field in his sophomore year.
CWO Blyden Jr. is stationed with the Coast Guard in Portsmouth, Va.

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