The asphalt road around Sparkman’s football field that our kids must use, has been considered neither an effective nor SAFE surface for Track athletes to train on since the 1980’s.
Besides the fact that the asphalt contributes to joint injuries and stress fractures, athletes CANNOT train in the standard spiked shoes that they use in every competition they go to. The metal spikes will not dig into the asphalt and can actually slip on hard surfaces such as this. Our sprinters cannot train to get the maximum push out of the blocks without spikes on. In today’s HS track and field, races like the 100m dash are won or lost by whomever gets the best start. We simply cannot train for that.
Additionally, without a modern track facility (to INCLUDE areas and equipment for events such as the Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump and Polevault) Sparkman cannot host a track meet. A track team’s budget is usually less then it cost to actually enter JUST ONE meet. For example, a recent meet at Bob Jones cost us $500 to enter our whole team. On the other hand, Bob Jones received entry fees from 14 schools. Plus concessions and t-shirt sales.
With a facility to host a meet, a team might actually be able to support itself! Without the facilities, the burden falls on the athletes themselves. How many athletes find that they simply can’t afford to compete for Sparkman?
Here is a comparison of some of our neighbors facilities –
Bob Jones’ new 9 lane rubberized surface. They spent $500,000 to update their facilities in the summer of 2014. Here is their LJ, TJ and PV areas as well as their track “Field House”
Here are shots of James Clemons brand new 9 Lane track and their LJ area with the PoleVault facilities in the background.
Huntsville City Schools provides a modern Track Facility for their Schools to share at Milton Frank Stadium (although I hear that some have their own track facilities).
Scottsborro just built a brand new rubberized track facility for their students. Here is a shot of the track and of the Polevault facility.
Cullman HS built a modern track for their kids about 4 years ago. Here are shots of their track and of the LJ facility with the Pole Vault pit in the background.
Muscle Shoals just completed a brand new facility as well. Here is their 8 lane rubberized track with jumping runways in the endzone.
Then there is Sparkman High School. We have NO areas for the field events with the exception of the shotput. A parent volunteer constructed a ring for that. For a track … This is an asphalt road with irregularly spaced lines that attempt to get 6 lanes. Sorry if you get lane#1 as in many places it is only as wide as a foot path.
It also features cracks with grass growing in it.
That bit of pavement on the outside of the track in this picture is actually Lane #6. This is not an optical illusion, it is actually that narrow in places.
Of course beware lane #1 in the corner. There is a fence post run partway into it.