Home Sweet Home
That changed last Tuesday when the Lakers welcomed Berne Union and Fisher Catholic to their brand new all-weather track and field sport facilities.
Long-time track coach Ken Keener said the Lakers used to host a few meets each season on the old cinder track but its condition became too unpredictable. It would be sloppy if wet, but quickly became rock hard in dry, warm weather, Keener said.
Constructing an all- weather track has been a 20 year plus dream that became reality last year. School district officials estimated it would cost $550,000 since the new track would require the visitors’ bleachers and light poles to be pushed back. That prompted the decision to upgrade stadium lighting by removing the six existing poles and replacing them with four taller poles with more lights.
The two contracts – one for the track and the other for lighting upgrades – totaled $426,571, $123,429 below the estimate. Most of the funds came from the district's Certificate of Participation bonds issued in 2008. The bonds brought in just over $3 million that has been used to replace the roofs on both schools, upgrade both HVAC systems, pave the high school parking lots and make other facility improvements. The bonds didn’t pay the entire cost. The district received a $25,000 grant from the Columbus Foundation for track construction. The Millersport Track Committee raised $25- 30,000 for the project Millersport Athletic Boosters have spent $25-30,000 for equipment and construction of a new concession stand and restrooms.
Track construction was finished last summer. It was dedicated August 28 as the Ken Keener Track and Field Complex.
Last Tuesday’s meet was the first of six home varsity meets this year including the Mid-State League Championships in May. An alumni meet is set for Friday, April 30. Several home junior high meets are also scheduled for this season.
Tuesday afternoon, Millersport dominated the two distant runs in both the boys and girls competition. Stuart Baker won the 800 and 1600 runs for the boys. Alex Reasoner won them both for the girls. Baker was the only first place finisher for the boys as the team tallied 25 1/2 points to 108 for Berne Union and 41 1/2 for Fisher Catholic. Alyssa Arnold also won two events for the girls with a first in shot put and discus. She won first place by 7 feet and 7 1/2 inches in the shot put and 18 feet and one inch in the discus. The girls garnered 31 points to Fisher Catholic’s 81 1/2 and Berne Union’s 58 1/2.