Track team hosts meets at new facilities
By Joseph Lavigueur
It’s track and field season, and for the first time in more than 15 years, the high school team is able to host meets due to their brand-new facilities. Last year, local levies raised enough money for a new track and field. The facilities were opened for official use during football season and have been used for practices and games by the school soccer, cheer, and cross country teams. Youth club sports utilize the facilities as well, but this spring marks the first time that the new track has had dedicated use.
The team is excited to show off the new facilities.
“We have one of the best facilities in the state, and I’m honored and excited to be able to showcase it in our meets,” varsity coach Rob Kearns said.
It’s not just the coach who shares this sentiment — athletes are equally enthused about competing in the new stadium.
“It will be fun to have people from the high school who don’t do track and field watching us,” senior team member Alexander Lee said.
Junior Evan Stephanick spoke to how much he already enjoys the new track.
“I love having home meets,” Stephanick said. “They make it a little less stressful because we aren’t traveling, and more of our friends can come watch.”
The high school already hosted two meets this season, Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, April 25. It is set to host the league championship on May 10 and 11.
This year, the track team has seen an increase in membership, with 62 total athletes — the highest in the school’s history. Though this increase in numbers is beneficial, it does change the previous dynamic of the team.
“The events get a little crowded … and you don’t get as personalized as a workout as we used to,” Lee said.
Stephanick shared a similar sentiment.
“I think the increased participation is great because we have more players and more opportunities to score points,” Stephanick said. “But with all the people comes a lot of stress … Keeping track of things, and sometimes the amount of people, can get overwhelming.”
In addition to the team’s increased numbers, Kearns predicts the new facility will help improve the performance of the team.
“There is no doubt that our team will be able to compete better with these new facilities,” Kearns said.
On the old track, the team struggled to work on handoffs for their relay teams. They were also unable to effectively run corners in lane eight, as the track was approximately six lanes wide.
These differences are especially noticeable to the athletes.
“We can actually measure out our workouts instead of just guessing where 100m or 150m is,” Stephanick said.
The health and safety of the competitors also comes into play with the new track.
“Last year our track was notorious for small injuries like shin splints,” Lee said.
Other common track injuries can include stress fractures, pulled muscles, knee problems. All of these issues can be prevented by running on the proper surface, such as a synthetic track.
Stephanick, a track athlete since middle school, is especially grateful for all the new track has to offer.
“I love having the new track, [especially] after being stuck with the same dirt track for years,” Stephanick said.