Another unique high school mascot from my own personal travels today. This time its way down on the southern tip of Florida, in Key West. The Key West High School mascot is the “Conch”. Conchs and their shells, were everywhere in the ocean surrounding the island and the Florida Keys when the settlers first arrived. The city of Key West has a long history, dating back to the early 1500’s. On April 23rd, 1982, under protest of the government, Key West seceded from the union, declaring themselves the new Conch Republic. It obviously didn’t last, but is an interesting part of their history. Somewhere on our tour there, our tour guide quoted someone (I can’t remember who) as saying “I’d rather eat conch” in protest, rather than going along with the US government. Rather than taking this as a warning, I took it as a challenge, and ordered a fried conch sandwich that evening for dinner. Big mistake! I could have been deep-fried shoe leather for all I know. In defense of the conch, I did try conch salad in the Bahamas, at the recommendation of our taxi driver, and it was much better.
Now to the track. It’s a nice set-up, in that all field events are located on the inside of the 8-lane track. Even the throws are inside, which is fairly rare for a high school. The only drawback I see here is the limited runways for the long and triple jumps, and the pole vault. There is just one for each, with only one pit on one end. Besides that, it looks very nice. And the fact that it’s only about 200m from the ocean, makes it look pretty appealing right now, compared to the snow we are getting in Minnesota right now.