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Carson track is in disrepair

Embarrassment. Disgrace. Those are the words used to describe the track at the Jim Frank Track and Field Complex at Carson High’s football stadium.

The CHS track is in disrepair. It’s so thin and worn out, members of the Senator track team who run on it are practically running on asphault. Virtually all of the Senators who run on the track are dealing with the painful wear and tear that comes from the pounding such as shin splints.

The track is about 10 years old and the Carson track coaching staff says that all the problems it has now could have been avoided if the needed maintenance had been done over the years.

“We’ve got a nice high school, nice technology,” Carson assistant track and head football coach Shane Quilling said. “It’s just normal upkeep with a nice facility and they haven’t done it. It’s just something that they neglected.”

“It’s the worst track in Northern Nevada. It’s sad. It’s embarrassing. It’s just mind-boggling. This is a disgrace.”

As with anything else, the situation comes down to money. Over the years, the money hasn’t been there to maintain the track. But Carson coach Todd Ackerman said the lack of maintenance for the track has made for a much costlier proposition when it comes to the needed repairs.

Ackerman said the cost of resurfacing the track would be $250,000, which is well beyond what the program could do in fund-raising.

“It’s kind of like you can pay me now or you can pay me later,” Ackerman said. “We’re at you can pay me later and it’s a big chunk.”

So for now, Ackerman does what maintenance he can to the track which amounts to patchwork, which can be seen all over the surface. There’s cracking all around the track and the cracking’s so prevalent at the start-finish line it could be dubbed the “San Andreas Fault.”

Lanes one and two are in particularly in bad shape. The CHS track is a large one with one extra lane as it has nine lanes. But since lane one is in such bad shape, that really takes away the extra lane the track has.

At the turn down the homestretch in lane one is a two-yard long pothole. Just a few feet from that spot in the lane is an even larger patchwork spot where one can tell a pothole used to exist.

The lane isn’t used for sprints and hurdles, but is used for relays so some kind of patchwork will need to be done before the Carson Invitational coming up on April 24. Not surprisingly other schools’ programs don’t like coming to the track.

Ackerman said the number of teams competing in this year’s invitational has dropped from 24 to 18 and he believes the track is the reason. He said it’s likely that Carson will not be able to host the invitational next year, which will hurt the program since it’s a major revenue source.

“The first and second lanes are just terrible,” said Carson’s Tilor Smith, one of Northern Nevada’s top long and triple jumpers and a member of the Senators’ 1,600-meter relay team, which is also ranked high. “It’s kind of embarrassing. At least we have something. At least we don’t have dirt.”

But Smith said it would almost be better for the Senators to be running on dirt as opposed to the track they run on now. “There’s not much padding to it,” he said.

The track is particularly difficult on hurdlers when the land on the surface. “You’re getting down to the asphault throughout the whole track,” Ackerman said. “it’s just so thin. Spikes are about becoming useless.”

“It’s a little hard on the shins,” said Carson’s Matt Moore, one of Northern Nevada’s top runners in the 300 hurdles.

Mike Horrigan, a member of Carson’s 800 relay team, was much more harsh in his assessment. “You get shin splints from hell,” he said.

“You don’t get as much traction because the track isn’t very thick,” Moore said. “It’s like running on concrete. You hear your spikes hit the asphault underneat the track.”

The track obviously takes its toll as far as Carson’s ability to train. “Our kids legs just take a beating because it’s so hard,” Ackerman said. “It’s a constant pounding on their legs.

“It hurts these kids. We’ve got to rest them. We’ve to to sit them. They’ve got to battle through the pain.”

Ackerman noted that overall the facility is an outstanding one and with the help of Carson principal Glen Adair, an improved throwing area was made possible last year.

Possible alternatives for repairing the track include applying for a grant or maybe receiving the money through a Carson City School District bond. “But I think the bond is still a couple years away,” Ackerman said.

There’s also the possiblity of sponsorships in which sponsors receive advertisement at the facility, Ackerman said.

For now, Carson’s track team just makes due with what it has. “We deal with it,” Ackerman said.

Contact Charles Whisnand at cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214.