MHS Track New Home
Photo Credit: Bart Curtis (@cavemenfbcoach)
Mishawaka has not had a home track meet seven seasons. But now that is changing, and Mishawaka will soon have one of the best if not the best track in the area.
Director of Operations Mike Faulkner had a lot to say on the changes, “The track project itself is an exciting one to say the least. It's been six long years that our track and field student athletes have waited to run on their own track. Unfortunately they will not have the track this spring, (which means graduation will be inside also) but moving forward, MHS will have the best of any facility around to practice, run and host their track meets for the 2018-19 school year.”
Mishawaka was planning on having it done by the spring of this year, but plans changed.
“Dr. Speicher along with his Senior Leadership team felt it is "our one shot to do it right", regardless if it meant extending the deadline to the summer 2018. Doing it right meant giving MHS the ability to host state tournament series competitions and moving from a 6-lane track to an 8-lane track,” said Faulkner.
There was many questions if we could even have enough room for a eight lane track.
“Certainly we could not move south due to the school butting up to the track,” said Faulkner, “did we have enough room to the north? The guess was "no" but after surveys were conducted, it appeared we indeed had enough room but it would entail encroachments into the right away sidewalk, relocating a main gas line, erecting a retaining wall and adjusting the street width to its minimal requirement that will present a slight jog.”
The long wait can be frustrating at times for coaches, but it is worth it.
“Extremely excited about the new track, especially hearing about the high quality surface we're installing. We should have one of the best tracks in the area,” said Kowalewski, “It's been very frustrating not having home meets, because we felt homeless and had a lot away boy/girl meets that lasted WAY too long. We've had to move to Princess Relay to Elkhart Central HS.”
Boys track coach Kyle Shaw also added, “I am very excited! It's been a long time coming, and we have sorely needed a new facility in the worst way, said shaw, “we have been "homeless" for 7 seasons, so to have a home will be great for our program.”
There was many reasons why not having a home meet was disappointing.
“We have had 7 years of seniors that have not been able to be recognized on a "senior night" at home. Also, practicing has been somewhat difficult, especially the past 2 years, because we haven't been able to practice on the track either,” said Shaw, “workouts have taken place in various locations around Mishawaka (parking lots, fields, etc) Not to mention the lack of a locker room...we have been using my classroom, which is certainly not ideal.”
Faulkner however has been very pleased with how the coaches handled it.
“I am very thankful for the patience of our track coaches and our track athletes. Between Coach Shaw and Kowalewski, MHS is fortunate to have the best track coaches in the state! Their patience will be rewarded with a state of the art facility come July 2018,”said Faulkner.