Track work causes juggling of high-school track schedule

While work on the installation of a new, rubberized track at Vidinha Stadium in Lihu’e remains on schedule, it did cause major juggling to have to occur on the Kaua’i Interscholastic Federation track and field schedule.

Originally, the first KIF meet was scheduled for Feb. 24, and the second on March 3, but with the track construction work, KIF officials decided to cancel both of those meets, and schedule other meets during a time they wouldn’t normally schedule events, spring break, said Greg Gonsalves, athletic director at Kapa’a High School.

Since a parade through Lihu’e for the Hawaii Army National Guard men and women who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq on March 4 ends at the stadium, where the track will be blessed and dedicated, no events will take place on the track until after that date, said Mary Daubert, county public information officer.

The track work has meant members of the Kaua’i High School track and field team have had to practice at school instead of the stadium, and once the new stadium track opens for use early next month, members of the various highschool track teams (Kula, Island, Waimea, Kaua’i and Kapa’a) will have to take turns using the new track for practice weekday afternoons on a rotating schedule, Gonsalves explained.

The first official meet on the new track will be March 10. The County of Kaua’i track and field meet, also known as “the mayor’s track and field meet,” will be held either March 17 (as originally scheduled) or March 18, Gonsalves said.

Additional meets, designed to allow young athletes chances to attain times and marks necessary to qualify for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state meet in mid-May, have been scheduled for March 24 and March 31, during spring break, he continued.

Normally, meets are not scheduled during spring break, as members of some high-school teams plan off-island trips to invitational meets, like the Velasco Invitational March 24, in which Kaua’i High School athletes will participate, said Gonsalves.

Work on the track continues on schedule, with the track essentially done except for striping, which is scheduled to take place this week, Daubert said. She is confident contractors will complete the track work by the Feb. 28 completion deadline.

Also scheduled this week is grassing of the infield, weather-permitting. That is in the area where KIF football and soccer games are played.

That won’t affect field events in the KIF track schedule, because the field events, like shot put and discus, take place in a grassed area near the home bleachers, between the bleachers and Kapule Highway, Gonsalves said.

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