Track teams fundraise for rubber surface


photo by Maggie Taylor

Track runner Thomas Welsh runs on the grass during track practice last year to avoid injury since the grass is not as hard as the asphalt track. The team hopes to raise enough money to get a rubber track by winter break.

Over the summer, parents of track and field athletes met to discuss fundraising plans for a rubberized track surface for the school. There have been monthly meetings since, and as a result, a GoFundMe page has been created with an initial goal of $25,000 a third of the money needed to be raised. The rest of the money will be raised by sponsorship and by grant applications. Once the $75,000 is raised, there will be a combined effort from the administration and athletic booster club to reach the $225,000 needed to fund for the track.

Track coaches Clester Winningham and Jay Getty have been spearheading the project. Winningham is particularly passionate about this because he has been coaching track for 40 years and has always had a proper place for his athletes to practice and hold meets.

“When I started coaching here it was shocking to see that there was no rubber surface. Getting [one] would mean a lot to me to see [the athletes] have a place to hold meets at home, like how every other sport does,” Winningham said. “But, the most important thing would be to cut down on injuries and having a place that we can really work hard on.”

Runner Adam Mastrobuono also believes that a new surface would reduce risks of injury, like shin splints or knee pains that are caused by the hard asphalt.

“This would improve our team; so it can not only help myself from risk of injury but for the majority of the track team next year,” Mastrobuono said.

He, like many others on the team, plan to spread the word about the fundraiser through social media. He has already linked the GoFundMe page on his Instagram and will post every month about it to remind his followers to donate.

The new track would not only benefit the track and field and cross country teams but, other sports, gym classes, and ROTC It would also increase the amount of events that would be held at the facility. The committee also plans to open it up to those in the community as a place to exercise.

The plan is to reach their $75,000 goal by December so that the surface can be redone over Christmas break before track season starts. Currently they have raised $425.

“As the old saying goes: ‘The rubber has to hit the road-we got to get to work’,” Winningham said. “Really and truly, it is going to come down to what we can raise from the community, the parents, and the ones who are really interested in the track to support us. I think it can be done.”