*Oh no! My track post yesterday never got posted! I just realized it was still in my drafts folder. So here it is – better late than never.
Today I’m taking a quick break from the New Zealand and Oceania tracks to post one found in Colorado. I am posting this for a reason relating to another sport – weightlifting. I am a high school physical education teacher and strength & conditioning coach. Besides being a huge track & field fan and masters sprinter, I have coached competitive weightlifting. In fact, I was a weightlifting coach for eight years. The similarities to coaching field events, I think, is one of the reasons I was drawn to the sport initially and stayed in it for as long as I did. I am no longer coaching a team or weightlifters, but I still am involved a little in the high school weightlifting scene in Minnesota, by running the MNHSWL website.
So why this track in Aurora? This weekend, starting today, the USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships are being held in Aurora, and Minnesota has quite a few lifters who are there competing. So in preparing some things for the website being doing some research of the meet and Aurora, I of course start wondering about the tracks that are in the area. So today, it’s Aurora Central High School and the home track of the Trojans.
Central is one of five high schools in the Aurora School District, and believe it or not, they all have tracks that are as nice (or nicer) than this one. I chose this one because of three unusual features. The first one is the high jump area, and the notch that is taken out for the approach section. I don’t think I have ever seen this before. I guess you don’t really use the center in competition, because the jumpers approach from the left or right side, but it would get used in practice for various drills. Seems a little odd. The second feature is the double runway into a big sandpit for the long and triple jumps. That’s something that isn’t seen too often. And the final feature is the track itself. It is a 7-lane track, but they have eight lanes on the straightaway. Seven lanes is rare, as is adding only one additional lane. The other tracks in the district don’t have these, and might be slightly newer. Central might be the oldest school, so they had to make certain accommodations when upgrading the track. Regardless, this is still a nice facility.