Friday, May 17, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot track closed for new surface installation

Leader sports editor

The Cabot School District will spend approximately $267,000 and possibly more renovating Panther Stadium the school board learned Tuesday.

The track will be resurfaced for about $267,211 with an option of $43,060 more if the project is modified. The district is looking at installing a band shell and upgrading the press box at the stadium. The band shell will provide shelter for the marching band during games and help with acoustics. A more definite figure will be determined after the old surface is removed and the asphalt base is examined. The track was closed to the public on Thursday as renovations began.

The track surface was largely damaged by skateboards, strollers, bicycles and lawn chairs, though signs at entryways to the track state those things are prohibited.

Cabot’s head track coach, Leon White, looks forward to the new surface, called Beynon BSS 300. It’s a flood and chip sandwich system that puts a two-component seal coat between a polyurethane basemat and a textured polyurethane surface.

The new surface will have much better shock absorption and higher resiliency, which means it will be easier on athletes and faster.

“I’m very excited mainly because the extra cushion means a lot less strain on our athletes as far as shin splints and things like that when we’re training,” White said. “It’s also very resilient. There’s more spring in it so it’s going to be a nice, durable, fast track.”

The track is scheduled to be complete by July 1, just in time for training to begin for White’s cross country team.

“It works out perfectly for us,” White said. “I give them the whole month of June off and we’re scheduled to start back after the Fourth of July. So we’re really looking forward to getting out there on that new track and starting work.”

White is especially excited about the girls team he will have returning next season. This year’s team was sophomore laden and performed exceptionally well, taking second place at conference and seventh at the state meet.

“We’re really hoping we’ll really have a team that can make some noise, especially when these girls are seniors,” White said. “We’ve got a strong group and we’re going to try to recruit some kids from other sports to come help us. Hopefully we’re going to build on this girls team so we can have a team that has a chance to do something special when they’re seniors.”

The boys team was down this year, due largely to strong distance runners who stepped away from track and field to concentrate on other sports. Some will be back this year for cross country, and White expects the boys team to be stronger in spring as well.