The Fastest Boys In The U.S. Have No Track

"Yeah, can you tell me where the track is?"

"The what?" the receptionist asks.

"The track."



"Yeah," I say. "The running track you guys have at the school."

Because American Senior High School, in Hialeah, Florida, must have a track. How could they not? Their boys 4x400 meter relay team is the fastest in the country after this weekend's Golden South Classic in Orlando, running an amazing 3 minutes, 12.12 seconds. They would have been in contention for a prep world-best had they run at this year's High School Boys' 4x400 Championship of America, beating all but one Jamaican team.

"We don't have . . . Wait, hold on," the woman says.

There is a rapid exchange in Spanish—located four miles northwest of Miami, American's student body is over 60 percent Hispanic, one admin worker will tell me—and then I'm placed on hold.

Another woman answers: "Yes, how can I help you? Who were you waiting for?"

"I just wanted to know where the track is," I say.

I am placed on hold again.

"No, we don't have a track," the woman says when she comes back on a few minutes later. "We have a track team, but not a track."

"But you must have a track, right? Because you have the fastest boys 4x400 relay in the U.S."

"My daughter was in track last year, and there was no track," she says. "We used to go to Dade Christian"—a 1.2-mile trek away, or around a four-minute run if they used a fifth boy. "They have a track."

"Is that where the team practices?"

"They practice at different tracks," she says. "This is a new year, though, so I don't know. Let me transfer you the boys locker room."

I thank her and I'm immediately routed into voicemail. I carefully explain to the machine that there must be a track. It doesn't make sense, that a relay team could be a state champion and nation-leader, and yet not have the most basic facilities. I tell all this to the machine, and I repeat my phone number twice for a return call.

All I'm looking for are directions to the track.