Olympian decathlete Bryan Clay was among the tens of thousands running yesterday's Honolulu marathon. He's also in town to help dedicate the new track and field at his alma mater, Castle high school.
Students and alumni have been waiting a decade for Monday's unveiling. They're calling the facility a "field of dreams" for the Windward side.
Castle high in Kaneohe already has a priceless backdrop of the Koolau mountains. Now, students and staff have a $5 million dollar sports field to go with it.
"You see Hawaii starting to catch up with the times," explains Clay. "I think that, for so long, we've been kind of stuck, and we haven't been able to keep up with what the rest of the world has been able to offer their young people."
We do now.
The Castle alum used the track and field dedication to inspire students to dream big. After all, look how far he went with far fewer facilities. He remembers what it was like in the '90's when he attended school there. "The field is a little different. We didn't have the bleachers. The track was dirt and cinder. The field was just grass and kind of all over the place!"
The project has been 10 years in the making. Now, the lanes are set for the Knights to hold track meets in the spring and football games in the fall. Castle's Athletics Director, Richard Haru, says, "We really hope that it will encourage more students to participate in our athletic programs."
They'll also be able to bring graduation ceremonies back on campus. They were being held at the Waikiki Shell while renovations continued.
The girls' soccer team did a quick inspection of the new grounds. "It's so much better!" says Eli Chun Fat-Ardren, captain of the varsity soccer team. "We don't have to worry about all the dirt and everything. It's always clean and no more potholes and stuff. It's just nice, flat field."
It's the latest but not the last of the facelifts that need to continue at state venues."We're trying to keep up with what needs to be done," says Governor Neil Abercrombie. "Our facilities average 65 years in age."
Definitely something for fans to keep score of in the future.