Eagles build track program without aid of a home track

May 02, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

Hedgesville coach Dan Comer dreams of the perfect track practice.

Then he wakes up and he's still in the parking lot.

That's because the Eagles, who have a quality track & field program, have no track.

"We've never had a track, at least nothing that would resemble a track these days," said Comer after this week's Clear Spring Invitational, where his boys captured the team title and his girls placed second. "We have records dating back to 1927, and it probably even goes further back.

"Throughout the years, we've had to work really hard to find a place for kids to run. We spend a lot of time on parking lots. And any meet that we're responsible for is either at Martinsburg or Jefferson."


Comer hopes that's all about to change.

On Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., the Eagles will have a groundbreaking ceremony in front of the high school to kick off a fundraising drive to buy an all-weather, eight-lane track. If all goes well, they plan to open the 2005 outdoor season on it.

"We have a committee together and have plans laid out," said Comer. "Now we have to hit the community and look for donations. We're starting from scratch, and it's going to be in the neighborhood of $600,000."

Apparently, the school system has no money to offer.

"We've been told, 'No,'" said Comer. "Every dime we get in this county goes to the classrooms, which I understand. We're overflowing.

"If we're going to get this done, it's going to be from the community."

Comer said the community would also be getting more than just a track.

"It's going to be a sports complex at Hedgesville," he said, "for soccer also, and ultimately baseball, softball and other sports."

Unlike most schools, the proposed track will not encircle the Eagles' football field.

"It's going to be off at another site," Comer said, "on Berkeley County school property about a quarter of a mile from the high school. And we'll have an access road to it."

While Comer is the first to admit that the track is not a necessity - "You never miss what you never had," he said - he certainly doesn't seem to be asking for too much.

"We were state champs in 1995 and we've won numerous region titles. We have a pretty successful program going," he said. "We go to other parts of the state and get a lot of compliments about our program, and when they find out we don't have a track, they stop in their tracks.

"It's proof that kids don't need all this, but it sure would make it a lot easier."

For more information about Hedgesville's track project, contact Comer at 1-304-263-3161 or by e-mail at

County meet a two-day one

The Washington County Track & Field Championships will begin Thursday and conclude Friday next week at Boonsboro.

The meet is being split over two days to help accommodate the athletes taking AP exams those days and because the Boonsboro track doesn't have lights, said Yogi Martin, the county's athletic supervisor.

Action begins at 4 p.m. both days.

Thursday's schedule: 4 - girls long jump, discus, high jump and boys triple jump, shot put, pole vault finals; 4:30 - girls 3,200 relay finals; 4:45 - boys 3,200 relay finals; 5 - girls 100 semifinals; 5:15 - boys 100 semifinals; 5:30 - girls 100 hurdles semifinals; 5:45 - boys 110 hurdles semifinals; 5:55 - girls 200 semifinals; 6:05 - boys 200 semifinals; 6:15 - girls 3,200 finals; 6:25 - boys 3,200 finals; 6:40 - girls 800 relay finals; 6:50 - boys 800 relay finals.

Friday's schedule (all finals): 4 boys long lump, discus, high jump and girls triple jump, shot put, pole vault, 100 hurdles; 4:10 - boys 110 hurdles; 4:20 - girls 100; 4:25 - boys 100; 4:30 - girls 1,600; 4:45 - boys 1,600; 5 - girls 400; 5:15 - boys 400; 5:30 - girls 300 hurdles; 5:45 - boys 300 hurdles; 6 - girls 200; 6:10 - boys 200; 6:20 - girls 800; 6:35 - boys 800; 6:50 - girls 400 relay; 7 - boys 400 relay; 7:10 - girls 1,600 relay; 7:20 - boys 1,600 relay.

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