Construction of new F.H. Collins track underway

Yukon runners will be back on track next year. Literally. Construction of a new running track is underway at F.H. Collins Secondary School in Riverdale and will be ready for use sometime next year.

Yukon runners will be back on track next year. Literally.

Construction of a new running track is underway at F.H. Collins Secondary School in Riverdale and will be ready for use sometime next year.

It will replace the track that was ripped up early spring to make way for the new school currently being built on the site. The former track was the only one in the territory, meaning Yukoners have been without one all running season.

School track meets and training sessions for Outside competitions were held on a field, where the new track is being constructed, with lines painted directly onto the grass.

The new track will be much like the former one. It will be a six-lane, 400-metre cinder gravel track, not a rubber track like many had hoped.

“It’s better than nothing,” said Athletics Yukon head coach Don White. “Having said that, take a look at the results the seniors got (at the 55+ Games) when they were practising on the grass track – a track is a track at their level. The big difference is, when we take the young people out to compete at westerns, the Canada Games, anywhere there’s rubber, if they are using track spikes and they have no experience, the issue is muscle damage and strain. One example, we were at the westerns a number of years ago and Knute Johnsgaard was there to do the 5,000-metre and he was crippled for a week afterwards because of the muscle strain that happened.”

“If we have a rubber track here, we can train the kids on it properly so they don’t end up running into those kinds of issues.”

Yukon’s Department of Education, which is putting $828,520 into the track, consulted both Athletics Yukon and the Yukon Soccer Association in planning the project.

With its location on a lower field, between the new school and a forest with power lines along the edge, the oval shape of the track has been elongated. Because of that, there is not enough room to put a regulation-size soccer field within the track.

“The difference is it’s a narrower radius,” said White. “So instead of being 37 metres from the centre out, it’s only 30 metres. So it’s going to be a bit tighter for people to go around the corners.”

“At the end of the day, the dimensions are right as far as the lengths go. Where we end up putting the off-sets for things like the 400, the 800, the start of the 1,500, will have to be adjusted a little bit to suit the track.”

Since it is not rubber and has six lanes, opposed to eight, the track will not suffice if Whitehorse hopes to host a major Games, like the Western Canada Summer Games or the Canada Summer Games. (Whitehorse also doesn’t have enough tennis courts to host either Games.)

“It’s not eight lanes, it’s not rubber, it doesn’t have a steeplechase (water pit), so it doesn’t meet the minimums required to host the westerns,” said White. “So we still end up needing another track somewhere.”

On the bright side, the straightaways will be long enough for the 100-metre dash. There is also potentially room to add onto the facility in the future, like areas for field events such as long jump. However, there are no current plans to do so, said White.

“There is potentially space at the north end – right now it’s just a huge mound of dirt,” said White. “I’m hoping that will get leveled off, and if it does, there should be enough room to put a throw area in for the shot put, the discus and possibly a hammer throw if we can get a cage put in… Long jump, depending on the way the irrigation system is put in. There is a bit of fencing that is beside the existing school that goes along the lower field area. When that gets pulled out, there may be enough space to allow us to put in a long jump pit – at least we’re hoping so.”

Despite not having a track to train on, Yukon athletes posted some fantastic results this season in athletics competitions.

Yukon’s track team won 26 medals at the 2014 Canada 55+ Games last month in Alberta.

Yukon Special Olympians collected four medals in track and field at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in July.

In his first Canadian Masters Outdoor Championships, Yukon MP Ryan Leef won a gold and silver in Toronto earlier in the month.

The Yukon Rush athletics team won seven medals at the annual Jack Brow Memorial Track and Field Meet this past June in Kelowna, B.C.

Yukon Rush’s Dominic Korn won three medals at the Nike High School Grand Prix at the University of Toronto in May.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt's World for Oct. 28, 2020.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 28.… Continue reading

Yukon Child Care Board chair Amy Ryder says the board could be playing a bigger role in childcare policy making if they had more financial support from the Yukon government. (Submitted)
Yukon Child Care Board asks for larger role in annual report

The board is asking for a larger budget to increase outreach and advice

Yukon’s clocks will no longer change in March and November but will remain permanently on Pacific Daylight Saving Time. (Courtesy Yukon government)
Off the clock: Yukon prepares to end seasonal time changes

Starting on Nov. 1 Yukon will be one hour ahead of Vancouver and two hours ahead of Alaska

Dawson City as scene from West Dawson. Art Webster, the vice-chair of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission resigned last month over the Yukon governments unwillingness to pause speculative staking. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Vice-chair resigns from Dawson land-use planning commission

NDP warns that not pausing mining activity is the road to a second Peel decision

The opening ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on July 28, 2017. The 2021 Canada Summer Games have officially been rescheduled for Aug. 6 to 21, 2022, exactly one year from the date the national competition was originally set to take place in the Niagara region of Ontario. (Canada Summer Games/Flickr)
Canada Summer Games dates set for 2022 but uncertainty remains for Yukon athletes

Yukon athletes continue waiting to get back into schools

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read