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Olympian and country artists raising money to restore the Sharrieffa Barksdale Track at Harriman HS

Before Sharrieffa Barksdale became a 1984 Olympian in the 400-meter hurdle, she was a standout athlete at Harriman High School.

HARRIMAN, Tenn. — A 1984 Olympian who graduated from Harriman High School is working to restore the track of her alma mater.

Sharrieffa Barksdale competed in the 400m hurdles during the Olympics after competing as a standout athlete at Harriman High School and at the University of Tennessee. She was the first collegiate woman to run the 400-meter hurdles in under 55 seconds, breaking the American record at the time.

Following her accomplishments in 1984, the community named the track at Harriman High School after Barksdale. A street was also named after her.

She is working with members of the community and country artists to raise money for repairs to the Sharrieffa Barksdale Track by organizing an event featuring three singers — Charise Miles, Sharane Calister and Tracielynn.

"I want it to be a safe place — for them to have an opportunity to coach these athletes and maybe, one day, we will get another olympian, or two, or three that come from Harriman, Tennessee," said Barksdale.

The event is named "One Step Closer" and will be at the Princess Theatre starting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 23. Tickets are available online, and proceeds will go to the track's restoration. Their goal is to raise $250,000, according to Barksdale.

A gala is also planned for Sept. 22, the day before the concert. That gala will include dinner, musical performances, as well as photo and autograph opportunities with Barksdale and many other Olympians.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the track's restoration without attending either event can also donate online.

"Bringing people together to celebrate that and shed light on that, on what Sharieffa is doing, and for me to have the opportunity to be a part of that is an amazing thing," said Tracielynn.

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