Oak Mountain track team returns to practice after tornado damages track

Oak Mountain track team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Grace Knowles has never seen a tornado, but she now has a different view of the damage it can cause.

“It was a lot, there was pieces of houses everywhere and nails we had to pull up out of the grass. It’s crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said the Oak Mountain Pole Vaulter.

Tuesday was Oak Mountain’s first day back at practice after last week’s tornado damaged their home, Heardmont Park. The past two days, the team has been picking up debris so they could return to the sport they love.

“It was nice cleaning it up, but it was heartbreaking coming here and seeing everything all over the place,” said Oak Mountain distance runner Reese Bell.

“It’s kind of amazing to see equipment, very heavy equipment, picked up and thrown all the way into the park one way, and over in the park the other way,” said Betsy Rogers, Oak Mountain Track Coach.

The tornado destroyed Oak Mountain’s pole vault mats, discus ring, some hurdles, the ticket booth, and fence.

“We have several schools around here that have offered to help, especially Spain Park, who have offered their facilities to us. Spain Park has been amazing actually,” added Rogers.

The Eagles only missed one day of practice due to the damage, and are so glad to be back on track.

“Track is a place where we come together and can laugh and have fun and a place where everything outside goes away,” said Knowles.

Oak Mountain will compete at the Spain Park Invitational on Friday.

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