Construction workers continue progress on the new track & field facility at C.H.S.
Construction workers continue progress on the new track & field facility at C.H.S.

Racing to Finish the New Track

October 29, 2018

After waiting over a year for a contractor to take on the challenge of replacing the  C.H.S. track, Jamerson-Lewis Construction agreed to take on the project with their sights set on finishing the renovation by September 1st. A much needed renovation, as the C.H.S. track has not been resurfaced or replaced in over 3 decades. The $2 million project hopes to change the face of the C.H.S. track and field program by making the track complete with 8 lanes, restrooms and bleachers, however at this rate it’s hard to know if it’ll be done in time for the indoor season to start. With the indoor track season coming closer and closer, it becomes more and more likely that the track and field team won’t have a finished surface to practice on.

The old track consisted of 6 lanes that were falling apart by anyone’s standards. The paint on them was fading, and the hard asphalt-like surface was painful to run on. As many members of the track team suffered injuries such as stress fractures and shin splints that can be related to the surfaces people run on, it brings about a question of if a new track could’ve prevented some of these injuries. The old track lacked many facilities necessary to run a successful track meet, as the jumping pits were not up to par and the 6 lane aspect of the track was not up to the standard the VHSL requires for high school track meets. The field house that held the supplies of the track team was small, dark and unusable for anything other than storage, and if any member of the team needed a restroom during or before practice it required at least a 5 minute walk up to the restrooms inside. The whole team and community around C.H.S. that frequently uses the public track are excited to see these downfalls change to highlights as the new track will be transformed into a state of the art facility.

The track team’s main concern is simply that the track be done in time for the season to start. Everyone at C.H.S. has seen the construction going on down by the track, and it has created a sense of excitement among students and coaches, head coach Ron Green saying he hopes, “It encourages more kids to join the team. It’s so hard to get students interested if they never see a home track meet going on.” Home field advantage may also help the performance of the C.H.S. track team which has historically outperformed any other sports team at C.H.S.

As track meets, similar to swim meets, are night long events, it makes a huge difference to be able to simply walk down to the track in preparation for a meet as opposed to leaving school hours early and driving on the bus for upwards of two hours. The track team has struggled in the past few years to reach the same level of performance as they had in the 90’s, but hopefully with a new track comes new members of the team, new spirit and a whole new team. Having a new track by November, when the track team typically begins conditioning, will change the overall vibe of the team and make for an incredible season.