All Comers meet is a weekly a-track-tion
July 10, 2009
A college athlete who went on to coach shot put and discus, Bill Harvey, of Glenbrook, always knew he’d return to throwing competitively.
Three years ago, at the age of 60, he did. He started practicing on the Carson Middle School field, then moved on to the ring at Carson High School.
Last year, he won first place in the shot put at the USATF National Masters Championships.
This week, he’s competing at the USA Masters Track Championships in Oshkosh, Wis., where he fears his title may be in jeopardy.
“There’s some young 60-year-olds that look pretty tough,” he said.
He travels around the world to compete, but each week can find a track meet not far from home.
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Every Thursday, AD Sports Tahoe hosts a track and field meet through the South Lake Tahoe Parks and Recreation Department at the Community Youth Sports Complex at South Tahoe Middle School.
There, Harvey can compete against others in his age group, as well as throw with teens just becoming familiar with the sport and high school athletes looking for some summer practice.
Organizer Anthony Davis likes the diversity and the commitment he sees.
“We really get all ages,” he said. “I want to promote this event as a true track meet. I want people here who love to compete.”
Davis said he organized similar community meets in the 1980s, but they later died out. He started them back up last year.
As word spread, he got up to 75 competitors at one meet. This year, 90 participants showed up for the inaugural meet two weeks ago.
All events are broken up into categories of age and gender, with special events like family relays.
For last week’s competition, Nick Birchell, Manuel Castaneda and Randall Oxoby drove up from Dayton to throw the discus and shot put.
“We’re happy to have this,” said Birchell, who took second in the state competition before graduating from Dayton High School in June. “It’s a way to keep track going. We didn’t want it to go away.”
For Riley Englin, 17, it’s a way to maybe keep the dream alive through college. The graduate of Manogue High School in Reno plans to attend Gonzaga University in the fall, but it has no formal throwing program. She hopes to keep her discus skills up to somehow be able to continue competing once there.
“I just love it,” she said.
It’s a feeling Davis understands.
“I’m a track man, bottom line,” he said.
And while the competition is real, competitors also take time to evaluate one another and give pointers.
“I’m still learning myself,” Harvey said.
Sign-ups for the track meets begin at 5 p.m. every Thursday through Aug. 13 at the Community Youth Sports Complex at South Tahoe Middle School. Events are for ages 2 and up.
For more information, go to http://www.adsportstahoe.com/index.html.