Montgomery Academy ready for move to new track and field facility
One of Montgomery Academy's latest projects isn't quite finished
One of Montgomery Academy's latest projects isn't quite finished.
Construction on MA's new track and field facility continues but the progress is encouraging for the Eagles.
"It's really exciting," MA senior Abigail Smith said. "We've used Lee's facility before but it's going to be nice to have our own. We'll have a facility to represent how hard we've been working."
MA track coach Kevin Weatherill said plans for a facility have been talked about since before he arrived as head coach in 2002. More definite plans have taken shape within the past few years.
"A feasibility study was done and a track was on the list of things the board and administration wanted to work on," Weatherill said. "I think it's great for the kids. I look at it as a reward for how dedicated our kids have been. You don't build something like this for a program that is not dedicated."
Since Weatherill took over the MA track and cross-country programs, the Eagles have won two cross country state titles and one track and field title.
The original plan called for the track to be completed last spring. The actual track is in place, and has been since around the end of the school year.
The final phase will be the infield, which will also serve as the soccer field and football practice field.
"Our hope (for the infield) is the grass will be growing by the start of the school year," Weatherill said. "The track is ready. We plan for our first cross-country meet to start on the track in August."
Weatherill said the price for constructing the track was around $625,000. The result is what he called an "international class" track.
"Mondo is the company that built it," Weatherill said. "Mondo is the company that has built every Olympic track since 1976. We'll be running on the same surface they run on in the Olympics. It's the fastest surface they make."
In the past, many schools have used Robert E. Lee's facilities for practice and meets. Many teams still practice at the facility but meets have become fewer. Weatherill said MA's facility will allow more meets to be held in Montgomery.
"We've started having to go to Selma to host meets," Weatherill said. "The past two years, we've held the 3A, Section 1 and 4A, Section 1 meet at Selma.
"Being able to host the section in Montgomery next year will be a huge advantage, not only for us, but the other local schools."
One obvious advantage, travel will be cut dramatically. Before the 3A and 4A sectionals were held in Selma, local 3A teams had to travel south to Brewton and 4A schools had to travel to Mobile.