Fans were surprised at the 2005 Taco Bell Classic as Northwestern's Tiayonna Blackmon now runs for Fort Mill. Blackmon ran for Northwestern at Coaches Classic on March 26; two weeks later Blackmon now runs for Fort Mill.
Northwestern found out two months ahead of time that Blackmon\'s family would be moving. There was no exact date to when the family move would take place.
When planning the family move Blackmon\'s father Mitch, weighed all the options. Mitch learned in order to keep her (Tiayonna) at Northwestern the rest of the school year after the move he would have to pay a fee per child he had in the school distict.
Not having the fee to pay, the option of keep her at Northwestern, began to look like no option at all.
The move came faster then expected; Tiayonna had this to say about the move. "Maybe about a week before the meet (Taco Bell) I found out we were moving, dad told coach (Calvin Hudgins) a couple months ahead of time. We didn't even know we were moving until the day we moved. We had a track meet that day before. I told Theresa (Verostek) if I had of known I would have told everybody bye; because I didn't tell anybody bye."
Mitch Blackmon checked with the York County School District and South Carolina High School League to make sure his daughter could run the rest of the season if she transferred. "That was the whole issue at first, that's why we checked with the school district, and the high school league to see if she could or couldn't run, and if she couldn't run then I was going to make the money and get the money together to make sure she would be able to run," Mitch Blackmon said.
Tiayonna became a part of Fort Mill's track team on April 6; making Taco Bell her first meet with the Yellow Jackets.
The move came so fast that Blackmon was entered in Taco Bell Classic as a Northwestern runner. The meet officials let Northwestern replace another runner in Blackmon\'s spot; and Blackmon replaced a Fort Mill runner.
If by chance Blackmon was not able to run for Fort Mill Mr. Blackmon stated; "The move was based on the fact the we had a house and we want to go ahead and move, but if she couldn't run we would of got the money to make sure she could still run."
After being a part of Northwestern for three years Tiayonna had this to say about leaving the team; "Well, It wasn't that hard to leave them, but I still miss them. So it's a good thing that I get to see them doing track meets and stuff, so it makes it a little easier."
Northwestern was sad to see her go but that meant a bonus for Fort Mill.
Northwestern's Kathleen Wilkerson, who replaced Blackmon at Taco Bell had this to say about the transfer of Blackmon. "She will always be a part of the team."
Mitch Blackmon said that once he told the coaches at Fort Mill they were excited; "Cause in actuality it brought more to their team. Even though we didn't move for that reason," Mr. Blackmon said. "It was great we got some athletes that are good, they are capable of running better, they just need someone a little better to push them,\" said Steve Mullinax, Fort Mill head girls coach.
Blackmon stated at Taco Bell; that \"it was hard at first to try to get use to the new team, but the runners on the team are all nice and have welcomed her to make her feel like part of the team.\"
"Angelina (Blackmon) went to Northwestern; she was the shoulders for Northwestern,\" said Mr. Blackmon. \"So now this gives Tiayonna the opportunity to be the shoulders for another school; instead of building her reputation off Angelina (Freshman, NC State) so now she can build her own understanding and it will be Tiayonna instead of that\'s Angelina\'s little sister, because she feels like everything she does is Angelina\'s little sister."
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