East Lincoln's track and field team has won five back-to-back conference championships. They've also taken home the last two 2A west regional titles and finished as runner-ups in last year's state championships.
But all that success isn't evident at their home track.
The Mustangs haven't had a home meet in more than five years because the track's condition - with its uneven and broken pavement - makes it nearly impossible to run on it.
Their track has no lanes; time has worn them down. Besides the grass growing in its cracks, the only markings on it are the impromptu relay exchange zones drawn by the coaching staff.
Never miss a local story.
"It's rough," said East Lincoln's boys' track coach Lennis Custer. "If you fell the surface is like a cheese grater."
But Custer, who is in his fifth year at East Lincoln, said his athletes have coped with their subpar facilities better than he ever expected.
"That's all they know so they don't complain," he said.
Custer said he's proud of the season his team just wrapped up. After losing 40 of the 49 points scored during their second-place finish at states last season due to graduation, Custer said he had to prepare for a rebuilding year - especially knowing that half of his team had never run track in high school.
"There wasn't a lot expected from us this year as young as we are," he said.
But Custer still had high goals for his team, and his Mustangs didn't disappoint, winning the Lincoln County championship, the SPC title and regionals.
"To have the season they had was neat to see," he said. "It was a little bit unexpected. I knew they had the talent but didn't know if they would put in the work and they definitely did."
East Lincoln's athletes practice on the football field most of the time. Long distance runners run in trails behind the school or in the parking lot.
One of the biggest signs of the team's perseverance is that last year the team finished first and second at states in high jump - with 6-8 and 6-6 jumps - despite not having a high jump mat to practice on at the school.
North Lincoln has put the schools' rivalry aside and has allowed the Mustangs to practice there a couple of times every season before conference and regionals.
"They've been a real blessing," said Custer.
The state of the track didn't affect the way the Mustangs performed this year either.
Just in the past couple of weeks, the boys' team broke two school records - the 400-meter relay and the 800-meter relay - at states May 15.
The coach explained that the talent at the championship - where they finished 27th - was incredible in large part due to the recent NCHSAA realignment.
Senior Preston Perry, who finished seventh in the triple jump and 11th in the long jump at states, said the team had a good season in large part because of the hours and hours the teams put in.
"We don't have a good facility to practice on, but we still get the work in," he said. "We're willing to practice and get the work in to do better."
It can be surprising how dominant the Mustangs are considering their circumstances.
The boys scored 277.5 points - 166 more than Lincolnton.
Custer said that although his team has many good athletes, his team is able to continue to succeed year in-and-out because of its work ethic.
"These kids put in a lot of work when no one is looking," said the SPC coach of the year.
Brather Cline was named SPC track MVP after taking the mile and finishing second in the 3,200-meters at the SPC meet.
Cline was in a walking boot with a stress fracture in his right shin for six weeks and wasn't available until after spring break.
"It was tough because I had to sit and watch everybody run," he said.
J.T. Gaston, who pole vaults, high jumps and triple jumps for the Mustangs, was name the SPC field.
For now, the Mustangs will take a break from track, but they will return to the broken-down field to hopefully continue winning.
Although Custer said there have been plans to re-do the track, renovations still seem far away.
"Hopefully things will get done one day, so we can have a more competitive facility," he said. "It'd be interested to see where we'd go from there."