It’s become readily apparent after watching Northern Nevada track for the past few years that Carson High has the best facilities in the area, and should host the state track meet every other year.
I know that statement will irk the nice folks at Damonte Ranch, but they need to accept the fact their track is No. 2 behind Carson.
Carson gets its chance next year when it hosts both the regionals and state meet on back-to-back weekends. Hopefully it will be the start of a every-other-year ritual.
“Advantage Carson,” said Carson coach Robert Maw when I asked him about being an annual host. “Let’s start with the jumping events. Last week I had to run around the track because they had the girl and boys competing on different sides of the track. At our place, the long jump and triple jump events are by themselves away from the main track, so if you have a kid in both events it’s easier to coach them between jumps. The weight events are both outside the oval so it’s a lot safer.”
Carson’s Dakota Baker was struck with a discus last year and missed his event. This year, there were several near misses with off-the-mark discus throws. One throw almost hit Courtney Hack who was probably at least 10-feet outside the fenced boundary after finishing her competition in the shot put. It’s just not a safe situation.
“Our plan is to bring in plenty of bleachers so people can watch both (weight) events,” said Mike Louisiana, Carson High’s throws coach. “Everything at Damonte is inside. That’s what is great about our set-up. The (long and triple) jumps and weights are both outside.”
For somebody who just wants to watch the shot and discus it’s a great situation. You don’t have to contend with the normal three-ring circus with athletes jumping and running to block your view of the throwers.
Carson has the only nine-lane track in the state, and that would enable the Las Vegas schools to bring one more entrant in certain events where there are lane assignments.
Parking is also better at Carson. There is an area where the buses can come in which is separate from the main lot, and let’s face it, Damonte’s lot isn’t that big, nor does it have that many close-up places. And, if you are forced to park near the baseball field it’s like you are in another zip code and you need a shuttle bus to get to the front entrance. The one thing I’d like to see Carson do is have two ways to get into the facility.
Let’s talk about the bathroom facilities. Damonte had one bathroom and I didn’t see any portable restrooms. Carson does only have one restroom, but I know they will have several portable toilets on hand that weekend.
Louisiana and Maw both pointed out that Carson has had good responses from people wanting to volunteer, and that’s a good thing.
“It takes a lot of people to run a good meet,” Louisiana said. “You need officials, marshals.”
Another advantage for Carson is the press box. Lynn Mentzer’s stat crew will have plenty of room to operate, and there is plenty of room for reporters to work.
In my opinion it’s a slam dunk. Carson has demonstrated time and again that it has great facilities and the people to run a great meet or tournament. Look at regionals a couple of years ago in wrestling, and look at this years Division I basketball tournament. It was well attended and well run.
And while we’re on the subject of track, Maw told me recently that the NIAA is trying to feel the pulse of Division I track coaches to see if they want to change the format of the regional meet. Currently the regionals span two weekends. I’d like to see that change to a Friday-Saturday format or a Thursday-Saturday format instead, and so would Maw. It makes more sense.
And, why isn’t there just one state meet that has the small schools facing the large schools? Track is an individual sport, and if White Pine has an outstanding sprinter he or she should want to test their mettle against kids from bigger schools. You should always try to compete “up” whenever you can. It’s the only way you are going to get better.