Tracking For Failure


Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos

Track at Elizabeth High School

Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos, Managing Editor

In November 2018, the voters of Jeffco approved ballot measures 5A and 5B.  5A was a mill levy increase to help improve teacher compensation, and 5B was a $567 million bond of which Green Mountain High School will receive roughly $14M for badly needed school improvements.  These will include significant updates to the main building and will help improve the sports facilities on campus.  As such, one of the main focuses is to improve the track and the fields that surround it.

The High School track was completed when the school was first constructed nearly 50 years ago.  It was a cinder variety which is essentially pebble size gravel packed into a running surface.  Although it is cheaper to construct, the maintenance is much more difficult, and cinder tracks can become out of level, have pot holes, and can be very dangerous to athletes.  The Green Mountain track is particularly poor as it is partially shaded and tends to allow snow and ice to pool at one end, making it useless for team use well into late March.

Courtesy of GMHS Students
GMHS track during spring months

The school track team must resort to running through the halls or using the parking lot in order to have practices. Hurdles are brought into the school in order to give the athletes at least a chance to train before their first meet, as it is too hard to set them up on what track team members have began to call ‘the swimming pool’.

(The track would be unusable due to ruts for about a week)

GMHS does get access to the Jeffco Stadium and its state of the art facilities, but it must share with up to 12 other schools.  Hurdlers, sprinters, and distance runners jockey for position in an endless dance of musical chairs to try to save their position on the track, often leading to athletes having to use the roads and paths around the Stadium anyway.

Track athletes hurdling in the halls

The track is an important part of the GMHS culture.  It’s used by the football, lacrosse, soccer, cross country, and T&F teams as well as many members of the surrounding community. Other schools in the Jeffco district have top notch facilities, however.  Evergreen, Bear Creek, and Dakota Ridge all have composite tracks, yet none seem compelled to share and let GMHS use them.  Athletes are left hoping something will change before they graduate and they will see the funds being used effectively.  But it will take activism by the students to make this happen in a timely fashion.  If you are on a team that uses the track, or just want to see the improvements happen as soon as possible, please let your voice be heard.  Tell the teachers and administration how important it is for you to see this happen before you graduate.  Hopefully, the Green Mountain Community can make a difference and fix the issues with the GMHS Track.