DALLAS — There won’t be any track and field meets this season to test it out, but Dallas High School’s track is all ready to be run on — as soon as social-distancing protocols are lifted, of course.
The track, rebuilt by Beynon Sports Surfaces, was finished on April 30 after undergoing renovations since fall 2018, following the installation of the new turf field.
Staying true to its black and orange emblem, there are stretches of bright orange paint to mark relay exchange zones.
The improvements to the track and the turf are just a few of the many that athletic director Tim Larson hopes will be accomplished.
“We have great facilities right now but there’s room for improvement,” he said. “...Looking down the road, I would like improvements made to the home grandstand, and softball and baseball fields to be turf fields and lights for those fields. I want to replace at least the south tennis courts, and add a hitting facility for baseball. All of these take time, planning and funding to accomplish. The improvement to the track and turf field will allow us to host district events, OSAA state championships, and it is a source of pride for not only our students but also our community.”
What started out as just a touch up, the track went from needing a resurfacing to being completely rebuilt due to the field being repositioned and raised to correct a slope during the turf installation.
DHS has been looking to renovate the track since 2016 when, at that time, it was 12 years old, which is the time frame for needing a resurface.
A campaign to raise funds for installing field turf on the football field began in the spring of 2014, but didn’t include resurfacing the track. The Dallas School District paid for that project.
When tracks go longer than 10 to 12 years without being resurfaced, it can create increases in injuries.
Over the past few years, head track and field coach Bill Masai tried to keep the track athletes off the track as much as possible, and training on the grass instead, in an effort to keep them from getting hurt.
The track’s condition also affected another area — the number of home track and field meets Dallas is willing to host: Two in 2016, one in 2017 and none in the last two years.
Masei said he is looking forward to hosting events again now that the surface is safe to run and train on.
“The new surface will allow athletes to train at a higher level and reduce impact injuries,” he said. “The track looks great. We are all excited once the facility is complete. We just need to finish the throwing areas and then we will be ready to host meets.”
Although the track isn’t open to the public yet, Larson is excited for when that day comes.
“The new track and turf field will benefit the future of track and field teams because it gives them a great quality facility for which to work out and compete,” he said. “It has the potential to pull more athletes out for soccer, cross-country, football and track programs. It is one of the best facilities around our league.”