Track is back: Bulldogs can soon host meets

Published 12:22 am Friday, January 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — The track program at Natchez High School is one of great prestige and tradition.

And now, after several years, the team will finally have a track of which they can be proud.

The school’s track had been in such disrepair that the school was not able to host district and state meets.

But that won’t be a problem for much longer, as an Ohio company that specializes in replacing and refurbishing tracks is in the final stages of completely replacing the old track with a brand new one.

The company, Fisher Track, had already removed the old rubber surface and asphalt base and poured a new asphalt base in October.

And now, the company is putting down a synthetic surface on top of the asphalt which will complete the work.

Fisher Track Southern Operations Manager Victor Quiroga said it should take a couple of weeks to finish laying down the synthetic track.

“This is a two-step process,” Quiroga said. “The first step will be putting down a black rubberized mat. We have our mixers and equipment there and will mix it on site and pour it in place. That will take about five days. After that, we’ll have a special machine that will spray on the polyurethane polymat surface, which will give it a rough texturized rubber surface. Once that surface is down, we’ll let it sit for about 10 days and then put the striping down on it.”

Natchez High School Athletic Director Fred Butcher said the school didn’t originally intend to replace the asphalt base, but once the blue rubber surface was removed, the school saw it had no choice.

“The asphalt was just in really bad shape,” Butcher said. “There were lots of cracks in it. We want to make sure we have a track that will be there for the next 10 years.”

Butcher said the project will cost approximately $230,000.

But the cost will be worth it to have a track that can host district and south state meets.

“We haven’t had a home track meet in a long time,” Butcher said. “Our overall goal is to get a district meet and south state meet.”

And there is one more important thing about having a new track, Butcher said. The pride it will give the students who run on it.

“They’re excited to run on the new track,” Butcher said. “This will help motivate the students athletically, which then can also transition into motivating them academically.”