Help build Jesup a new track

How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming?

You know the ones that have you losing 20 pounds by summer?

One of the best ways to lose weight is to run. Or walk. Or run the 400 hurdles.

I’ve long thought one of the toughest individual track events is the 400 hurdles. A 400 is tough, but throw in 10 hurdles and you’ve got the makings of 60 seconds of hell. JHS ’94 grad Joseph Huck remembers well. “I remember attempting the 400 meter lows for the first time and almost collapsing before the last hurdle.”

Thousands of 400s, 200s, 100s are run at the Jesup Community School track each year and have been for decades. Countless conference champions, state qualifiers and school records have come from athletes on that track.

Certain days are easier than others. A limestone track, like the one at Jesup, is soft following winter’s snow, spring’s rain and cool temperatures. But dry it out and you’ve got concrete around a football field.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association changed qualifying for the boys state track meet in the early 1990s. Gone were the qualifying meet, a one-shot opportunity for state glory. In was the stopwatch and timed results.

As the season goes on, the times gets faster and faster. Each track coach tries to get a good surface to run on late in the season, looking for the best opportunity possible for good times and maybe a chance to run at the state meet.

Jesup track athletes for years are looking to get good times run on all-surface tracks. All of them on the road.

But a group of citizens are trying to change that.

Visit this website to see their cause and help them out in their cause.

Here’s a quick look at the highlights of the project.
• new 8 lane 400M synthetic surface track
• new shot put area
• new synthetic surfaced high jump venue
• new discuss venue (replacing the current sand volleyball courts)
• new long jump venue
• new concessions plaza
• new press box with separate home, away, and scorekeepers sections
• demolition and site preparation
• concrete around the perimeter of the track
• drainage updates including rework of the existing football field
• fencing
• landscaping

I have to admit, I’m a little envious. First lights for the baseball field, now a project to get an 8-lane all-weather track. Maybe they can make it Jesup blue or orange?

There will be a Facebook page coming soon where you can monitor progress in addition to the JesupTrack website.

We’re getting some great posts about running track at Jesup. Post your best or shin-splint memory in the comments section. That’s after you send in that check to help build the track.

-Paul Yeager JHS Class of 1994

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