Whiteland Community High School’s new-look track-and-field facility is halfway through what’s been a memorable debut season.
Already the Warriors girls and boys teams have hosted three dual meets.
The best, however, is yet to come.
Whiteland hosts Center Grove and Whiteland on April 26. A week later it welcomes six of its chief rivals for the girls and boys Mid-State Conference Meet.
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On May 19, the Warriors host a boys track sectional for the first time in school history.
“We just love the facility and being able to host. We think it helps our program instead of our kids always having to go on the road for big track meets,” Whiteland athletics director Ken Sears said. “Now we get to host some of those.
“It’s more work, but that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to provide the best facilities we can for our athletes and our coaches.”
The 400-meter track formerly had seven running lanes of outdated black silicone surface. It now features nine lanes of Plexitrac, an all-weather surface designed to provide athletes cushioning for safe training.
Senior sprinter Shaw Cloud has been part of Whiteland’s boys track program long enough to appreciate the improvements.
“Our new facility is awesome. It’s now one of the nicest in Indiana,” Cloud said. “Being a sprinter, I love the track because it has a little more pop or bounce to it than our original track, making it easier on our shins.
“It’s also pretty exciting because I think Whiteland track and field will get more attention due to the new facility since we now host both conference and a sectional.”
Upgrades to the field event areas are every bit as impressive as the track.
Two new pole vault pits and a single runway are located in the stadium’s northwest corner near the home bleachers.
High-jumpers compete at the east end of the infield.
Sears notes that a second high-jump station will be set up for the Mid-State Meets so that girls and boys events can take place at the same time.
Whiteland also caters to long-jumpers with two runways/pits at the southwest corner. There also are new throwing rings for shot put and discus.
High jump competitions are the only field events conducted inside the track’s oval.
“From a meet management standpoint, we have a really good design,” Warriors girls and boys head coach Brandon Bangle said. “The (artificial) field surface alone has been a huge advantage from an injury prevention standpoint.
“For a lot of people, Whiteland historically has not been a track school. They’re caught by surprise a little bit that we have a facility as nice as we have. I’m not going to say it’s the best (in Indiana), but you’re not going to find a lot that are nicer.”
HOME SWEET HOME
Varsity events Whiteland either hosted or will host this track and field season:
March 21 – Dual meet vs. Perry Meridian
March 23 – Dual meet vs. Columbus North
April 5 – Dual meet vs. Franklin Central
April 26 – Host Center Grove/Martinsville, 4:30 p.m.
May 3 – Girls/boys Mid-State Conference Meet, 5 p.m.
May 19 – Whiteland Boys Sectional, 6 p.m.