Pearl River teen brings home the gold, twice

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A south Mississippi teen is celebrating a couple of big wins, including a win that awarded his school, Pearl River Central High, as state champions for track and field.

Cole Benoit, a junior at Pearl River Central, brought not just one, but two championships back to the school. The teenager placed in the 3200-meter run with an unbelievable time of 9 minutes and 50 seconds. He also placed in the 1600-meter race.

It's the first time the school has been able to claim a state championship in track.

"I was proud. It also makes me think that I have to focus and work next year. Nothing's going to be easy," said Benoit. "I can't stop now. I still have a lot of work to do for next year. I'm proud that I had a chance to do it, and I hope I can try to do it again next year.

Benoit's practice conditions aren't necessarily ideal. The school doesn't have a proper track so Benoit and the rest of the team practice in the parking lot.

"The good thing about it is it is the exact size of a track," said Benoit. "So, I'm pretty much running one. I just have a couple of potholes, and gravel, and a few cars you have to dodge every now and then."

But Benoit says the parking lot gets the job done, and he's staying humble as he looks forward to his senior year on the track.

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