Push being made for new track at Casa Grande

Dreams are not cheap.

The price tag for the Casa Grande High school track athletes' dream of a track of their own is somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000.

For Carl Triola, who has had that dream for the 14 years he has been involved in Casa track, it is a reachable goal.

"We're excited," he said. "This is he closest we've been since I've been here. There is hope."

The need is obvious. Casa Grande is one of only two schools in either the North Bay League or the Sonoma County League without a synthetic track. The other school, Ukiah, has a new track in the planning stage.

The current Casa Grande track is made of some sort of not-remembered cinder that looks sprinkled over an adobe base that turns to goo in rain and cracks in sun.

"We haven't been able to have a high school meet here in eight years," Triola points out. "The only meet we have here is the Eastside Relays for elementary schools."

Casa Grande's 100-plus track members work out on the track, but there is no real way to set up the hurdles properly. The hurdles themselves tilt on the uneven track and there are so many marks on the curb surrounding the track, that there is no way to properly align the barriers.

Last year, Adam Lundquist broke the school record in both the high and intermediate hurdles and never practiced on his home track. He would condition and work out at Casa Grande with his teammates and then trek across town to use Petaluma High School's all-weather track for his hurdle work.

It is difficult to impossible to even practice some field events at Casa Grande. Even a modest amount of rain can turn the high jump and pole vault areas into mini-lakes.

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