Construction of new track to start in early June


Charlie Sagner

The track is set to undergo construction from May 21 to June 8. The new track will be made of ground-up tires, which provide “a lot of bounce”—providing a safer surface for runners’ muscles and joints, track captain Obi Onwuamaegbu said.

By Ben Stricker

The track will be closed starting in June to reconstruct its surface.

County officials have been planning construction of a new track for at least three years, but the turf field installation last summer forced  them to push the project back, athletic director Andy Wetzel said. Over the winter, the track was repaved with concrete to level its height with the turf field.

The new track will be made of ground-up tires, track coach Stephen Hays said.

“The current track makes it harder on the body because it doesn’t provide a lot of resistance,” track captain Obi Onwuamaegbu said. “Rubber tracks provide a lot of bounce, which makes it easier on your muscles and joints.”

Although the new track is relatively inexpensive to install, it may require more maintenance and will likely last a shorter time than typical composite rubber tracks, Hays said.

With the upgrades the new track provides, Hays hopes to host the Viking Invitational—a track meet traditionally held at Whitman—next April. Because of Whitman’s unsuitable track, Walter Johnson has hosted the meet for the last four years.

Junior Ben Lesser looks forward to running on the new track during his senior year; he’s also enthusiastic at the prospect of finally having home meets.

“The new track will improve our performance and decrease the number of injuries that result from running on a concrete surface,” Lesser said. “I’m excited to have meets next season because fans may come out to our home events.”