Central’s Newly Built Track Promises Years of Continued Success

CENTRAL%27S+LATEST+INSTALLMENT+IS+RIGHT+ON+TRACK+--+Construction+on+Central%27s+track+is+finally+completed%2C+and+it+proudly+sports+eight+lanes.
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Central’s Newly Built Track Promises Years of Continued Success

CENTRAL'S LATEST INSTALLMENT IS RIGHT ON TRACK -- Construction on Central's track is finally completed, and it proudly sports eight lanes.

CENTRAL'S LATEST INSTALLMENT IS RIGHT ON TRACK -- Construction on Central's track is finally completed, and it proudly sports eight lanes.

Morgan Snyder

CENTRAL'S LATEST INSTALLMENT IS RIGHT ON TRACK -- Construction on Central's track is finally completed, and it proudly sports eight lanes.

Morgan Snyder

Morgan Snyder

CENTRAL'S LATEST INSTALLMENT IS RIGHT ON TRACK -- Construction on Central's track is finally completed, and it proudly sports eight lanes.

Morgan Snyder, Columnist

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Central started construction on the new track last fall, and it was recently finished about one month ago. Though it is a work in progress, the track is coming along slowly but surely. Many students are curious about the newly built track, as the bleachers, fence and lighting have yet to be constructed; Steven Lewis, Central’s assistant principal, reassured that there is nothing to worry about.

Lewis was Central’s track coach from 2006 to 2015, and has been advocating for a new track since his first year coaching.  A multitude of athletes had gotten hurt during practice alone, rolling their ankles due to an abundance of cracks and holes in the track. Repairs were definitely necessary for the safety of the school’s track team.

“The old track was cracked and filled with holes, but the new one is way better with its soft, new ground. I could run on it barefoot,” said A.J. Sem, a senior at Central.

Lewis attended several school board meetings to attempt to raise interest in the project. He even talked about it on the radio on the Sports Talk program. Other schools, such as Red Bank and Ooltewah, have also supported Central in its fight for a new track. With so many athletes on the team, rarely ever losing at a meet, they wondered how Central was able to have one of the best track programs with one of the worst, run-down tracks.

“The Times Free Press even wrote a long piece about our track to try to raise awareness in the community,” shared Lewis.

The new track was entirely Lewis’s design; in fact, a number of other schools have contacted Lewis to ask if they could use his design. The unique design was far better than the original designs the construction company presented to school administration. Their original plans were dangerous and risky to the safety of the athletes.

Some of the changes Lewis made to the design include constructing an eight-lane track instead of a six-lane track, seeing as Central can only host tournaments and meets if the track has eight lanes. The new track even meets regulation guidelines for college level track programs, and there is literally no other like it.

“The new track is something that helps make the school look better. As soon as we are able to host track meets, it will bring more students out for the track team,” stated Coach Christopher Kribs, one of the track coaches who is also a ninth grade world history teacher.

“It’s just great to finally have one,” said Coach Gary Bloodsaw, head track coach.

The next steps to take will be building a large fence around the track, installing lighting, and constructing bleachers. Once this is done, Central can begin to host large meets and generate revenue for the school. Some new equipment is also needed, such as batons and discus gear.

Along with the track, a whole new set of starting blocks as well as 60 new hurdles were purchased. However, the other equipment is too old and worn down to use in meets.

Though it is a work in progress, the track programs will surely be exciting to follow in upcoming years. As the track’s construction progresses, there will be more events held at Central High. Lewis has special plans for a dedication of the track, and as more information is released, the Digest will keep students updated.

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