The days of running through and around mud puddles are over for the Jackson High School track team. Everett Public Schools and City of Mill Creek officials dedicated the Timberwolves’ new all-weather track on Saturday, March 16, 2013.
Although the construction of the new track was completed in time for last fall’s cross-country season, the dedication ceremony was saved for the beginning of the track season.
Both Cascade High School and Jackson High School received new all-weather tracks last year. They were the last two high schools in the state with the old style cinder tracks according to Arron Swaney of the Everett Herald.
Back in September last year Swaney reported, “Most high schools replaced their tracks in the 80s and 90s and many middle schools are now replacing their cinder tracks. But during that time, Cascade and Jackson were passed over (improvements were made to the Cascade track in 1999), leaving the two schools as the final two in the state with cinder tracks.”
At Saturday’s dedication Eric Hrushka, Jackson High School’s head boy’s track coach, said the new all-weather track has many benefits, “We’ve already noticed this spring, in the first week, how much more work we’ve been able to do. Everybody has been able to practice. There is no mud out here. We’ve been able to get our warm-ups done faster. We’re probably a week ahead of where we’ve ever been.”
Jackson’s track and cross-country programs have been very successful over the past few years. Both the boy’s cross-country and the girls cross country teams won their respective Wesco 4A championship last year.
On Saturday Terry Cheshire, Jackson High School Principal, was very appreciative of his track and cross country teams, “There is a lot of pride that we have in our track and cross country teams here at Jackson. If you look historically how successful they have been, they represent what it truly means to be excellent. Now that they have this track I expect them to be even better in the future.”
Others in the community use Jackson High School’s all-weather track besides Jackson High School’s track and cross-country teams. Every weekday morning a group of friendly Mill Creek residents meet to run or walk the course at 5:15 for forty-five to sixty minutes of exercise.
When speaking at the dedication ceremony about the investment Everett Public Schools made in Jackson’s new all-weather track Dr. Gary Cohn, Everett Public Schools Superintendent, said, “It’s not our money, it’s your money… We’ll be able to do even more things as the community comes together again and again and again to support these young people.”
Cohn spoke about the partnership between Everett Public Schools and the City of Mill Creek, “I want to thank the mayor for his partnership. We are going to continue work together to try to develop more facilities that can be enjoyed jointly by the City and the School District, by kids and adults and families in this community. It is no longer the case that we can have separate facilities. We have got to share things and invest in things together.”
Everett Public Schools and the City of Mill Creek are exploring a joint investment in an all-weather surface for a Jackson High School soccer field. Mill Creek has contributed not more than $35,000 of the estimated $50,000 to $70,000 preliminary design cost.