After nearly 12 years of use, the original surface on the Mansfield High School track finally got an upgrade. With most all of the work completed, the school administrators will conduct a dedication ceremony on Friday, October 7th to celebrate.
Since it’s original installation in 2004, the Mansfield track has seen thousands of participants run its lanes and jump its runways. The wear of an average seven meets a year plus community walking traffic, took a real toll on the track surface.
“We were down to the base in a lot of places,” commented Mansfield Women’s Athletic Director John Mackey. “There were cracks in the armor that’s for sure. It was time for a major overall. Tracks only last so many years and ours was at the end of its rope.”
Mansfield Superintendent Robert Ross recognized the need for the new surface a few seasons ago. As financial stability in the district reached a more solid state, Ross urged the school board to take action this year. No action at all would have most likely meant the end of a highly successful track program at the school.
With due diligence, the members of the board agreed it was time to pull the trigger on a resurfacing job. The fruits of that decision will be apparent this Friday night as the Mansfield senior football team takes on Cedarville on the field just inside the track oval.
“We want to celebrate the new beginning by celebrating the past,” said Mackey who also serves as the school’s track coach for girls. “At halftime of the football game, we’re asking any former track athlete to show up in mass for a ribbon cutting ceremony. That will give the school decision makers a real sense of the lives this track has touched.”
Expected to attend are some of the members of Mansfield’s (12) state championships, (2) heptathlon winners, and a cross country champion. Both the men’s and women’s teams have won multiple conference titles since the facility opened its gates. Some of those players are also expected to attend along with members of the school’s current teams.
“We have the choir doing a song,” continued Mackey. “The administration, board, and other notable figures will be present. It should be a fun halftime sandwiched between what looks to be a very competitive football game with the Tigers and Pirates.”
Lanes, hurdle marks, and exchange zones are set to be painted by dedication time this coming Friday.