Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dirt tracks...

Members of my own team are probably not aware that dirt tracks STILL exist.  My first year coaching track at Crystal Springs Uplands School, I took one girl ran to run a 400m. (probably was 440yds) race at El Camino HS in 2002.  We also competed at the old Castro Valley HS track a couple years later at their invitational but as far as I can remember, those were the only dirt tracks.  Since then, it's been ALL all-weather for us.  We don't actually have a track on campus so we travel...to San Mateo HS...to College of San Mateo...to Burlingame HS...to Serra HS...basically to any facility that will take us. 


When I ran in high school it was all dirt for us, all the time.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I raced on an all-weather track.  I remember running at Menlo school with their black track (I think it was black).  I definitely remember running on the old CSM track (the black one) that stuck to your spikes on hot days.  According to the old CSM coach and current timer Bob Rush, spraying Pam on the bottom of your spikes prevented this from happening.  Who knew?  Now he tells me.  I am still picking off parts of that track from my old high school spikes.

Anyways...before I ramble on, here is the world famous Hank Lawson below, laying down the finish line before a recent meet at Lynbrook HS.  Ah, the good ole days of laying down those lane lines before the weekly dual meet against your cross town rival.

Lastly, this article was in this week's San Mateo Times talking about the end of an era at Westmoor HS.  The old high school dirt track will be replaced by an all weather track next year.  It only took the district over 30 years to finally get coach DiMaggio a well deserved all-weather facility.  I had the pleasure of coaching with him for seven years and he is truly one of the most important people in my development as a coach.  I will have to write more about him and some of my other mentors in another time.  In the meantime, here is the article:

Reeves: Days numbered for Westmoor's dirt track

Anybody else have a good track story to share?  I posted a link to the St. Mary's (Berkeley) track earlier this year...you know...the triangular one.  Any other odd shaped tracks?  

11 comments:

Tmo said...

We still roll on dirt (specifically clay, which is worse). Been rained out 3 times this year.

http://www.teamolympians.com/2007/05/tracks-we-have-to-go-visit.html

Anonymous said...

Well what do you expect at Crystal Springs Upland, a rich private school. There are still plenty of schools out there with dirt tracks (many public schools for example).

Albert Caruana said...

We have no track...I would be very happy with a dirt track.

Anonymous said...

Westmoor hosted a meet a couple of weeks ago where the opposing teams hurdlers all refused to compete in their races concerned they might get hurt. Westmoor athletes found this amusing. The current #1 110 meter hurdler at Fridays CCs Top 8, JP Williams has been practicing on WHS dirt track the last 4 years. Something about that track that current WHS athletes as well as alum will miss.

Anonymous said...

Looking for the earlier comments on the SM Berkeley's "Triangular field. I know their original track was wierd but is the Triangular shape post remodeling. If so why do anything if the track is still not regulation.

Thanks

Albert Caruana said...

Here is the link to the picture of the track:

http://albertcaruana.blogspot.com/2009/07/photo-of-week_19.html

alien said...

Perhaps the worst dirt track in the Bay Area has to be Alameda HS's dirt track. It is only 300 meters long and can acomodate about 4 lanes. We can never host a meet, and all of our meets are away-meets.

Anonymous said...

nor cal has a ton of all weather track. having moved to so cal, I be lucky to run in an all weather track, only a few schools around here have them. (mainly colleges) Basically all high school track in so cal is dirt.

Anonymous said...

aren't all tracks all weather technically---you can run on them in all weather, but some definitely are better to run on than others.

Anonymous said...

Re-SMB triangle field. No wonder the BSAL championship is always at Piedmont. Anything over 100/110H could not be submitted for any record purposes because of the unusual shape. Considering their field it hasn't stop them from having one of the better dual meet teams in the east bay.

AndyNoise.Com said...

the kern high school district has 16 schools and one all weather track which no one but the school it is on can practice on it.