South Tahoe Track Foundation folds
Track and field, as the South Shore has known it for the past two years, won’t be the same unless several new volunteers step forward to take over the responsibilities of Rick Brown and Anthony Davis.
Brown and Davis have resigned their South Tahoe Track Foundation president and vice president posts, respectively.
Consequently, the community stands to lose the annual Battle of the Lake track and field meet between Whittell and South Tahoe high schools, the Summer All-Comers meets and the Elementary School Track Classic.
Moreover, the restoration movement for the tartan track at South Tahoe Middle School is at a standstill. The tattered track, which was used for the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials at Echo Summit, needs a $300,000 overhaul in order to host meets of significance.
The track doesn’t meet Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association specifications so STHS no longer holds home meets there, but South Tahoe Middle School hosts meets.
Brown feels awful that his tireless efforts to save the track haven’t brought forth more volunteers with the same energy and enthusiasm.
“It was a hard decision, but one I had to make for personal reasons,” he said. “It’s personal because of my commitment to my family, and for the longest while Anthony and I were the foundation.
“The support wasn’t there from the community like we hoped it would be. People verbalized their support, but when it came time to opening the wallets or donating their time and effort to it, it was sorely lacking. It got to the point it was too much work for me to be able to do and still be a good husband and father.”
The father of four who also coaches the boys track and field team at South Tahoe High hopes others in the community will take up the fight.
“Sometimes it takes a shakeup to make something happen,” Brown said. “Maybe someone else will take up the fight and has other ways to get the word out.”
In its short existence, the foundation was able to re-establish track and field in the community, bringing back the Summer All-Comers meets and the Elementary School Track Classic. Even so, they routinely found themselves running the meets by themselves.
“The reason we’re dropping these meets is not because Rick resigned,” Davis said. “The underlying reason is the lack of commitment from the track and field community.
“When you really love something and you’re really pushing for it, trying and trying, there comes a point to where you decide how much can you try?”
Davis, who has coached track and field programs at STHS and Whittell and the cross country program at Lake Tahoe Community College and WHS during his 13-year residency, found out how little the community cares about track last spring when he tried to put together a retirement banquet for 25-year South Tahoe Middle School track and field coach Austin Angell.
“Austin has done a lot for this community, and we couldn’t get anyone to respond,” said Davis, who indicated that Angell was given a belated roast last summer at Edgewood Tahoe.
Although the two-man foundation’s efforts to raise money for a new track were unproductive, they were still able to receive donations to send track and field and cross country athletes to significant meets in Oregon, Arizona and Nebraska.
Brown was also disappointed that the city didn’t get behind efforts to refurbish the track when the National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships expressed interest in holding an event in South Lake Tahoe. But because of the condition of the track, the meet has been moved to Carson City High School.
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