By Liz Crawford, Mariel Gousios, and Sophia Wang
After the capital improvement plan, all of the sports teams except for track got renovated with new turf, bleachers, and a fresh coat of paint. There’s been a feeling of disappointment within the track team as to why they have yet to receive the renovations that the other sports received. With 90 members, the track team is one of the largest sports teams at Williamsville East High School. Mr. Holme, the coach of the boys track team describes his team as a “great group of athletes” that are supportive of each other and put a great amount of effort into the sport. Similarly, Ms. Spitznogle portrayed the girls track team as dedicated and tight knit, and committed to their sport. Despite this, track has yet to receive any of the renovations that football, soccer and baseball have. Over the past couple years, these other teams have gotten new fields and turf while the track team has yet to receive any comparable renovations.
Members on the track team have expressed their opinions on the matter. Allen Gelfond, a senior and co-captain of the boys team voiced his disappointment. “They had the track closed off for a period of time, so we assumed that we would be getting repairs to the track”, he explained. An anonymous member of the girls track team expressed a similar sentiment, saying that, “the long jump runway literally has chunks cut out of it and the high jump bar gets jammed sometimes”. When the sports fields were renovated, these renovations hadn’t only skipped over the track, they also took space away from the track. Ms. Spitznogle, the coach of the girls track team, mentioned the new bleachers expanded into the area of track, forever taking away the possibility of expanding to an eight lane track. Additionally, the new baseball batting cages have expanded, taking over the pole vault. She also noted the efforts that had been made to repair the track, one of which included taking out parts of the fully functional long jump to repair run down parts of the track, explaining the long jump runway previously mentioned by the girls track team member.
However, these feelings are not shared by all. Coach Holme, the coach of the boys track team, and Mr. Suchyna said that track received a fair and equal amount of funding. This raises the question of why these concerns hadn’t been addressed. If the other sport fields received a major renovation through the athletic capital project, and the track team gets an equal amount of funding, why haven’t they received an equal amount of improvements?
Despite the differing views, a commonly expressed desire is for the space of the track to be expanded and fully, but a definite timeline has not been established for such renovations to take place. With smaller improvements, a request for funding would either be approved or denied, however with a renovation of the described extent, there would have to be capital improvement projects. Additionally, both coaches have expressed a desire to relocate the track and field events to inside the track so coaches can oversee both areas at once. Resurfacing the track, getting new uniforms and equipment have also been mentioned. In the future we hope to see these improvements actualize to inspire athletes to join the track team and motivate the existing team.