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Old 12-12-18, 12:27 PM
Throwscoach Throwscoach is offline
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New track

The school district that I coach at recently built our first all weather track. The previous track was a crushed limestone track that we were unable to host meets on. This spring we will be hosting 4 meets along with our high school conference championship. I am looking for any advice to help things run smoothly. We have already purchased Hytek. We have hurdles and are purchasing a few more so we don't have to transport as many for the 300m/200m races. We do plan to use baumspage to organize all the meets. What else do we need to be prepared for? Thank you.

Last edited by Throwscoach; 12-13-18 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 12-12-18, 01:25 PM
madman madman is offline
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If real estate is all about location, location, location, then I think a track meet is about people, people, people.

There are plenty of sources online that list out all the roles necessary to run a proper meet. Create an online sign-up where you can make sure every role is filled. Work really hard to get the key positions fill with the right kind of person.

Get the medals/awards shipped in at least a week early and go through them to make sure you have every award you expect to hand out and that they have no typos.

Once you have things up and running, add a hospitality room for officials and coaches, but don't do this until you have the essentials covered well.

Early in the fall contact a person you want to be the head official for your invitational so they can assemble the team of officials they want to work with. Don't be afraid to involve them in some of your planning. They can offer great insights from their experiences with other meets and if they know your priorities, the meet is going to run smoother.

Try to arrange for some type of timing display for the spectators, if at all possible.

...There are many more things to worry about but I've got to go.
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Old 12-12-18, 08:19 PM
Run4Life Run4Life is offline
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1) I would definitely look at hiring a timeing company to do your finish line, it will save a lot of headaches down the road.

2) Try to get a licensed official at each field event to run them, rely on parent volunteers to fill in measuring, lifting bars etc. You won't believe how many volunteers you will need to make these events operate smoothly.
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Old 12-12-18, 08:19 PM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Get officials lined up...now!!!
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Old 12-13-18, 06:19 AM
Throwscoach Throwscoach is offline
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Thank you for the advice. For the 4 tri meets the official has been lined up since the spring of 2018. The conference meet officials are taken care of by the conference and we have the same basic 2 year after year, unless one of them has a conflict then they find someone to cover for them. Traditionally the field events are covered by schools in the conference that do not host meets. Usually this is a teams coach or team's coaches running the event. I would like to eventually move towards officials running field events because of liability issues that some of the athletic directors do not truly understand.
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Old 12-13-18, 11:15 AM
Altor Altor is offline
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Originally Posted by Throwscoach View Post
What else to we need to be prepared for?
For your home tri-meets and invitationals...make sure you have an answer for everything that the Games Committee has authority over (Rule 3-2). If you are hosting the League/Conference meet, you may need to ask who is the Games Committee for that meet.
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Old 12-15-18, 05:06 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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HyTek - Tri-Meets, Dual Meets, Invites, Championships meets are all different, so set up templates and run test meets a few times first. In the heat of the battle, things are going to happen, and you have to have had some experience with it to be able to handle things. I've been doing it a long time and I can give you some examples of catastrophic issues that are silly.

We do not have internet access at the track, so I never thought to turn off the internet on the computer. A few years ago in the middle of the meet, our computer started a windows update. Someone in the stands had a cell phone with internet hot spot that was not password protected. The computer hooked up to it and then started an update. Not Fun.

The first meet we ever did, the printer had a paper jam. We did not have time to deal with it, because we were trying to seed Prelims to Finals. HyTek would not seed the finals. I finally just seeded them by hand. It was Chaos in the press box. After it calmed down a little, we took care of the paper jam. Then, I went back and Hytek was able to seed the races. There was a glitch in the program and it was the paper jam error that somehow stopped the software from working properly. At the time, I wasn't sure what it was, but I couldn't figure out any other reason. I had an indirect contact with the developer of the software and so I was able to ask why it happened and explain that I thought it might be because of the paper jam. A few hours later, I get a call telling me that yes in fact that is what is was and the problem was solved and it would be fixed with the next update. My life was nearly ruined by a paper jam.

I personally would do a Tri-meet by hand at the finish line and then send the data to the HyTek person to see if they can do the meet too, but if there are substitutions or heats that get changed and all that in a small meet, it takes time if a kid is not in the database etc. We do double duals for the league and the meets are not set up in advance, so we have no idea who is running what until they line up. Easy done by hand. Not as easy with HyTek.

For your big league meet. Figure out in advance if you are running one computer with HyTek or two. Entering field events is not fun while all the other things are going on on the track. Are you entering every mark, or just the best? If just the best, have all the ties been broken before you get the paperwork or do you have to do it? If you are entering every mark and letting the software do it, it is very fast to enter metric marks, but feet and inches takes more than twice the time.

This gets us every time. Field events come to the press box and they have used a sheet other than what we sent out from Hytek. The names are not in the same order. Kids are in different flights. Best marks are not put off in the best mark column. 8 kids one flight, not a big deal. 5 flights and a finals, big deal.

I had a league meet where two girls had the same name. In the shot put, they tied!!! Impossible! I had trouble in the past with field events being wrong, so I decided to put every mark in and let the software do it's thing. They decided to not use the field sheets I printed and sent out to the event, but rewrite their own. Then they wrote up a summary with the top 9 from finals. Somehow, they wrote down the marks for Kate Smith from one school and Kate Smith from another school using the marks only from one of the Kate Smith's. I looked at it and said. Impossible. Easy to see that it's a mess up. I said, this isn't right and gave it back to the people running the event and told them to correct it. Came back the same. I said this is impossible. Gave it to two other people and they also said it was correct. It wasn't that both first throws were the same and second and third etc. It was that one girls first throw matched the other girls third throw. The second matched the 6th. I did not have time to mess with it as I was timing the meet and doing the results etc. It determined the league champions! It was wrong. My brother was coaching the team that should have won the league, but got second because of the mess up. I went home that night and went through everything. Found how it all got messed up. instead of just using the sheets I gave them, they did it "their way" and mixed up data from one kid with the other. Wrote it wrong on another sheet. but not in the correct order. then wrote it all wrong again on another sheet for the final results and again not in the correct order, so in the end all the marks from one girl were used for both.

So, if they go to finals, Either they bring results from Prelims to you to have finals seeded and new sheets printed, or they make sure all the data is on the original prelim sheets and finals marks are just out in 4,5,6 columns. You think it's self explanatory and the easiest thing in the world. We have issues nearly every year.

We had a issue once where heats in the prelims for the 100 were reversed. Seeded the finals and ran the finals. One coach questioned his kids time in the Prelims after finals were run and results posted. Told him I'd look at it when I had some down time. When I did, I pulled up her race and she was not in it! Then I noticed the winner was clearly from CVCA. But she was in heat 2 not 3. They ran heats 2 and 3 backwards and no one told us. Unbelievably the correct girls advanced to the finals. but times were wrong and after 3rd place in each race, the places were wrong too.

I did college meets where the template used for the meets seeded the hurdles wrong for 3 years. It would put the correct runners in the finals but assign wrong lanes. I noticed it year one meet one and corrected it. But, they did not use my correction for the other meets. The next meet was wrong too, but I didn't catch it. 4 years later, I just happened to notice it again by chance. It wasn't a big deal. but for 3 years, the mens hurdles finals did not have proper lane assignments and not a single coach ever pointed it out. I blindly seeded those races and caught it only twice 3 years apart. Make sure you take the time to set up the meets correctly. It is difficult in the hear of the moment to make corrections.

I would do small meets by hand with HyTek as a back up that can be finished after the meet is done for better results publication. I think you can run a small meet faster at the line by hand. League and big invite, you have to use the software. Write down what you are doing for each race. Sort of script it out. What Key strokes do I hit? How do I seed Finals?

I am not going to take full credit for thissince I'm sure many other people made this suggestion to the developer. but, for years HyTek would just put times out to the hundredths and you would have to go and manually put notes to show 8th and 9th place to the thousandths were different and not really tied. We were doing a meet and the guy I was working with was on the phone with the main developer of HyTek going over an issue. I was asked if I liked the new version and I smartly said yeah, but it would be nice if the software showed why these guys aren't tied and take the times out to the thousandths automatically. CTRL-T or something. No kidding, the next version had it! We were Beta testing for them. I FORGET TO DO IT ALL THE TIME!!! Or at least I used to. I doe it for every race now. Even distance events. I would forget so many times that I got into a habit of doing it all the time, so I can't forget. I'm going to take partial credit for Field events ties/ Judges decisions being somewhat automatic too. While we were part of the Beta testing, we begged for that. Most of our testing was for interfacing issues and things you don't necessarily see. but the tie breaking stuff coincidentally came out after we suggested it. Believe me, there are many other suggestions that have not come out, so I know I was just one of many. My suggestions of letter and symbols for fouls and passes and such for field events has never seen the light of day. Use / * - + for passes and fouls and No Mark, No Distance type of things. i'd forget to use those too for a while, but having to go from number pad to keypad breaks my rhythm. When I feel bad about it, I just do a running event and hit CTRL-T and it's all better.

Best advice is to be ready for the dumbest stuff you have ever seen and be prepared to make the dumbest mistakes you've ever seen. How hard is it to get 106'-0" correct and not have it be 100'-6"? Well, when it's 45 minutes after the fact and that's what is on the sheet, It's 100'-6". I've been to meets where my pole vaulter had an extra miss thrown in there and dropped down a place as a result. I don't even get upset about it anymore, cuz now I'm sure we've done it too. Out of 600 pole vaulters, I'm sure we have missed or added something. I'm less tolerant at the District and Regional meets and that seems to be where most of the mistakes are made against us.

One year at Coventry, we lost a dual meet to them and one factor was we lost a tie breaker in the shot. They gave 4 throws. 2 + 2. But they only marked the best of the 2 throws. So, out of 4 throws, you only had 2 marks. There were a lot of throwers blah blah blah. Our thrower got beat when he tied on the 42'-6" best throw, but his other throw of those 2 was 42'-4" and it wasn't recorded. It actually landed in the same hole as the throw before it. So think about all the things you have lost your mind about or just saw at other meets that were wrong or even right and learn from those. I measure every throw and put the results for it down. We get times for every kid. Some places only go to a certain place and then don't bother with times after that. Do what is correct, not easy.

The People. People . People. Is probably the best advice. We have great people that care about the sport and can deal with the chaos. Finish lines are not for everyone.
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Old 12-15-18, 04:19 PM
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Chalk up another post for "people, people, people."

As madman suggested, create a checklist of all the duties that need handled at your meet. Then, round up the people to perform those duties. Hold an organizational meeting or two if necessary, so people are clear about what they'll be doing on meet day. On meet day, there's never enough time to go over everything with everyone before the meet begins - you will get sidetracked almost from the moment you enter the facility, and next thing you know, it's time to begin the field events. Additionally, meetings held earlier will give your meet workers a chance to get to know the people who will be working with them. I know of some schools that hold planning meetings year round for large invitationals and such. As a result, the things that they can control during the course of a meet generally turn out well. Additionally, the organizational meetings may give some clues as to how well you can rely on your meet workers. If they blow off one of your meetings with no warning, do you want them in an essential role on meet day? It always makes my day when we're hand-timing a meet, and one of our timers waits until 5:55pm to announce that he or she can't stay past 6pm.

I also agree with psycho_dad regarding "do what's correct, not what's easy." That 11th place kid in the 1600 didn't score, but he or she may have just run a PR. I loathe the occasions when I've had to tell one of our kids that we didn't get their time.

Another minor but helpful thing is to create a sheet that lists your track markings. One page is all you need to list colors for the 1, 2, 3, and 4-turn stagger lines, break lines, exchange zones, and hurdle markings. My school's track uses some colors that are different than those recommended by the NFHS, so our reference sheet helps the clerk and starter to get athletes in position more quickly. It's also helpful for the occasions when our facility is hosting a meet while those of us who know the markings by heart can't be present (ex. JH meet while we're away at a HS meet). We have a laminated copy duct taped to the block cart.
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Old 12-17-18, 08:15 AM
Finishtiming Finishtiming is offline
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Since this is your first year doing this a big help we have found with new tracks and schools is to give your field events time to almost finish before running starts. I have some schools that start field events at 4:30 and running at 5:30-5:45 just so at the smaller meets your field events are done and you can then concentrate on the running plus then those volunteers can help elsewhere.

One of the things we do for all of our meets we time is we do online registration. 2 reasons, one is that you will have every athlete already in your hytek database from the roster. Second is we have the coach enter the athletes into events even ones they may or may not do but then have the coaches come to us before meet to confirm and then we seed the meet. We random seed all events for the first 2 weeks of the season then start seeding by time.
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Old 12-17-18, 09:44 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Finishtiming. If it's anything like our league, we might be able to get rosters, but we would never get coaches to agree to show their entries for a dual meet, double dual or tri-meet. Too much coaching going on to try and win the meet. Gamesmanship. Jerks. We have a coach in the conference that otherwise is a great guy. Has a fit if boys and girls run the 3200 at the same time to speed up the meet. He firmly believes in running a boys race and a girls race. He's thrown just one girl in the 3200 before too.
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Old 12-17-18, 09:47 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finishtiming View Post
Since this is your first year doing this a big help we have found with new tracks and schools is to give your field events time to almost finish before running starts. I have some schools that start field events at 4:30 and running at 5:30-5:45 just so at the smaller meets your field events are done and you can then concentrate on the running plus then those volunteers can help elsewhere.

One of the things we do for all of our meets we time is we do online registration. 2 reasons, one is that you will have every athlete already in your hytek database from the roster. Second is we have the coach enter the athletes into events even ones they may or may not do but then have the coaches come to us before meet to confirm and then we seed the meet. We random seed all events for the first 2 weeks of the season then start seeding by time.

I concur with the thought towards getting most of the field events done prior to the running events starting. Not only does it help with volunteers, it also helps the multi-event athletes to be focused in their respective field event areas instead of having to worry about checking out & in all over the complex.

This method of running meets USED TO BE the status quo in the earlier days of the sport. I can't tell you how many meets from the first half of the 20th century that I saw where the field events were in the morning (Saturday meets), and then the running events would take place starting around 1pm. I remember myself the old Knights of Columbus Relays held at Reading HS in Cincinnati where Jim Wright would start the field events at 9am in the morning with the running events kicking off about noon. He was able to field a VERY LARGE amount of teams by that method. Everything was wrapped up, if memory serves me correctly, around 6pm on a Saturday. We're talking about 40-60 teams spread across two classes back then.
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Old 12-17-18, 05:27 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
Finishtiming. If it's anything like our league, we might be able to get rosters, but we would never get coaches to agree to show their entries for a dual meet, double dual or tri-meet. Too much coaching going on to try and win the meet. Gamesmanship. Jerks. We have a coach in the conference that otherwise is a great guy. Has a fit if boys and girls run the 3200 at the same time to speed up the meet. He firmly believes in running a boys race and a girls race. He's thrown just one girl in the 3200 before too.

But isn't it better to try to win a dual meet if you can? As opposed to just simply not caring about conference meets and only focusing on districts, in which only a handful of a teams athletes are going to advance anyways.
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Old 12-17-18, 07:06 PM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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I always saw small meets as practice for the last 4 meets of the season. PERIOD. Any focus on them otherwise is a coach that doesn't have his priorities straight.
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Old 12-17-18, 07:40 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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I always saw small meets as practice for the last 4 meets of the season. PERIOD. Any focus on them otherwise is a coach that doesn't have his priorities straight.
I respectfully disagree. But then again, that may be due to the unique format of PTC track. But I feel that if you are in a league, playing for a league championship, and inter-league dual meet results actually count towards the league championship (as in the PTC), then you should do everything you can to win those duals, as long as winning is realistic at least. When you are part of a conference, that is what I feel you are supposed to do.

Last edited by CoventryTrackXCguy; 12-17-18 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 12-18-18, 10:06 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
I respectfully disagree. But then again, that may be due to the unique format of PTC track. But I feel that if you are in a league, playing for a league championship, and inter-league dual meet results actually count towards the league championship (as in the PTC), then you should do everything you can to win those duals, as long as winning is realistic at least. When you are part of a conference, that is what I feel you are supposed to do.
That is understandable, if that is way you're conference is structured. Most are not, at least in my experience. During the years I did coach (retired now), I was never affiliated with such a structure. So, the only meets I gave two cents about were: League / District / Regional / State. Everything else was practice. If we happened to win those meets, great, but that was a byproduct of other goals.
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Old 12-18-18, 11:00 AM
Throwscoach Throwscoach is offline
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Thank you again for all the advice. For the most part the conference coaches are great people that look at the tri-meets as a glorified practice. The past few years we have had a distance kid or distance kids throw discus at at least one of out conference tri's. This actually helped us win a meet one year when neither of the other schools had discus throwers and we had two distance kids say sure I'll try it. The goal of the conference tri meets for all but one host school is to run an efficient meet that keeps as much integrity to breaks for the distance and sprinters. The one host school has the goal of getting the running done in an hour with no regards of recovery time.
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Old 12-18-18, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
But isn't it better to try to win a dual meet if you can? As opposed to just simply not caring about conference meets and only focusing on districts, in which only a handful of a teams athletes are going to advance anyways.
Yep! I put us in that category. I would submit a roster, but I would not show my hand with all my entries. Too much coaching going on means there is actual coaching going on. I believe dual meets are the foundation of the sport. We go into meets trying to win. Invites as well as duals.
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Old 12-18-18, 09:17 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
Yep! I put us in that category. I would submit a roster, but I would not show my hand with all my entries. Too much coaching going on means there is actual coaching going on. I believe dual meets are the foundation of the sport. We go into meets trying to win. Invites as well as duals.
I know im in the minority when I say this, dual meets in my opinion are actually kind of fun. At least when the meet is fairly close. So many people underestimate the kind of planning that goes into trying to win a tough dual. Like, do I want to put my middle distance runner in the 300 Hurdles, or 400m dash? Do I want to put my top distance runner in both the mile and the 2 mile, or do I want to keep him fresh for the 2 mile?

As an aside, this is just a crazy (and probably dumb) idea of mine, but I thought it would be cool if high school track had a dual meet playoff/state championship. Where you could take say the top 4 team placers in each district and throw them all in a bracket together, single elimination. Then it would be 6 rounds before a dual meet state champion is crowned. There is probably a lot of good reasons why that will never be a thing, but it is just something I thought would be cool.
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Old 12-21-18, 12:32 AM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Question...How much does a new track, or even just a track resurfacing cost.

Because I know Coventry got to the point where it desperately needed it about 10 years ago. Still needs it btw. But, you know, fiscally strapped school district in a blue collar community and all, that's kinda hard to do.
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Old 12-21-18, 07:30 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Better specify just what you mean by "new track"? Does that mean just resurfacing? Or does foundation work need to be done? Number of lanes? Field event areas? A whole host of issues can significantly bump up the costs. Better have a number of 6-figure dollars available.
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Old 12-21-18, 10:00 AM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
Question...How much does a new track, or even just a track resurfacing cost.

Because I know Coventry got to the point where it desperately needed it about 10 years ago. Still needs it btw. But, you know, fiscally strapped school district in a blue collar community and all, that's kinda hard to do.
For a run-of-the-mill replacement of asphalt base and rubberized surface for an 8-lane track and adjacent HJ, LJ, and PV areas, I'd figure somewhere in the ballpark of $200K. It could cost a bit more or less depending on who you hire, how booked up that company is, and where you're located. If you have other underlying issues (drainage!), you may have to fork over more than that. The more digging and heavy equipment are involved, the more it'll cost. If you're only doing a new top coat, something in the $50K to $100K range is likely.

My school's track will be entering season #21 since it was last replaced. Selective patching has enabled a few extra years of use, but it hasn't been fit for competition for at least 5 years.
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Old 12-21-18, 12:25 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
For a run-of-the-mill replacement of asphalt base and rubberized surface for an 8-lane track and adjacent HJ, LJ, and PV areas, I'd figure somewhere in the ballpark of $200K. It could cost a bit more or less depending on who you hire, how booked up that company is, and where you're located. If you have other underlying issues (drainage!), you may have to fork over more than that. The more digging and heavy equipment are involved, the more it'll cost. If you're only doing a new top coat, something in the $50K to $100K range is likely.

My school's track will be entering season #21 since it was last replaced. Selective patching has enabled a few extra years of use, but it hasn't been fit for competition for at least 5 years.
Ours is like at least season 30-40. Our district just doesn't have the money to spend freely on these kind of things. Are there any grants out there that could help?
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Old 12-21-18, 05:43 PM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Ours is like at least season 30-40. Our district just doesn't have the money to spend freely on these kind of things. Are there any grants out there that could help?
Any rich alum that competed for you guys? Hit them up!
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Old 12-21-18, 09:22 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Any rich alum that competed for you guys? Hit them up!
The only one I can think of is James Harrison. The football coach might be able to get his ear.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:39 AM
Throwscoach Throwscoach is offline
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Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
Question...How much does a new track, or even just a track resurfacing cost.

Because I know Coventry got to the point where it desperately needed it about 10 years ago. Still needs it btw. But, you know, fiscally strapped school district in a blue collar community and all, that's kinda hard to do.
We were going from straight limestone so a lot of excavating had to happen before the asphalt was even but down, then the all weather surface. If I remember correctly we spent around $240,000-$250,000 on just the surfacing project.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:44 AM
Throwscoach Throwscoach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoventryTrackXCguy View Post
Ours is like at least season 30-40. Our district just doesn't have the money to spend freely on these kind of things. Are there any grants out there that could help?
Sometimes the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has grants available to use recycled tires, but these grants are usually a 50/50 split between the non-profit group and the ODNR. They are also very few of them available and are highly competitive. NIKE also had a grant available at one time for resurfacing but this one is SUPER competitive.

Last edited by Throwscoach; 01-08-19 at 11:11 AM..
 

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