Danielle ’10 has run track and field for six years at Marlborough, and each year, she said, she’s had to practice on a different track.
Because the school campus isn’t large enough for its own track, the team must find a place to practice. This year, the team, which hopes to repeat as Sunshine League Champion, is splitting time between West Adams High School and Jackie Robinson Stadium, an arrangement that steals time from the two-hour practice time.
Both West Adams and Jackie Robinson, which are next to Dorsey High, are a 15 minutes drive from school, so the commute means losing half an hour of practice time. After the team arrives and warms up, that only leaves 40 minutes of actual practice time.
“We just all know that when we lose half of our practice time, it really cuts into the work we can do and the progress we can make,” Amy ’11 said.
Assistant Coach Dawid Jaworski, who drives the runners to the tracks, said another issue is that the team usually doesn’t know which of the two will be available, because either the track itself or the high jump pit might be closed or in use by another school.
“We go to West Adams and it’s closed so we then have to get to [Jackie Robinson] on time to get something done,” Jaworski said. “It’s an issue, but I think it makes us strong, just to live and let be with that.”
Last year, the team practiced at Los Angeles High School, which is a mile away from school. It was still a commute, but the team warmed up by running there.
Though that left the team more practice time, Danielle said she actually prefers driving to the track because runners don’t have to run on concrete, which often leads to injuries. Also, she said she likes the variety.
“It’s nice to change. I would get sick of having to run on the same track every day,” she said.
Athletic director David Collicutt said it’s hard to find a permanent track. He said the problem is that there is no true public track facility. The closest is Jackie Robinson, but even though Marlborough has a city permit to use it, Dorsey High has a pre-emptive right to use it whenever it needs to.
Regardless, Jaworski said that the team is making it work.
“We are organized. We try to get there much faster. We have a two hours period. We drive to the practice, find out how to get in, and be polite to people so we can share the facility. It’s working out,” Jaworski said.
Head coach Jimmie Grant agreed the team is managing, and with five straight league championships, he has high hopes for the season.
“We’re not willing to give it up just yet,” Grant said.