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Why Track is the question that needs to be asked

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This is the question that the whole Blackduck track team and coach Barb Moon is asking not to mention the parents and supporters of these athletes. It was announced at last month's school board meeting that the board was considering to cut the track program.

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When asked, Coach Moon said she had not been given any notice that there was even a possibility of track being cut and even when it was announced no one told her why. She assumes it's funding. Certainly not lack of interest or participation. Former track athletes, teachers, parents and community members have expressed their concerns over track possibly being cut. They plan to attend the next school board meeting May 14 to ask why and show support.

Blackduck has had a track team in place for a long time. Moon has coached for the last four years. Each year there is plenty of interest. Up to 20 students each year have joined. They have partnered for practices with Northome and Kelliher for the last 10 years. Currently there are 14 students on the Blackduck's track team which has co-oped with Northhome and Kelliher teams.

All three communities practice together twice a week in Northhome on the track. They work on relays together and all of the individual events such as shot, discus, triple jump, long jump and the high jump. Obviously, if the track program in cut it would also effect the Northome and Kelliher teams also. There are also two coaches from Northhome -- Mike Lorenzen and Jim Schneider.

Before that there was a girls only team and before that a boys only team. So needless to say, track has been around Blackduck for a very long time. Many of the current athlete's are following in their parents footsteps, want to be with their friends and some like the variety of the seven different events included in track. They also like that its a team sport as well as an individual sport. There is nothing like an athlete that can strive to better their own scores and also contribute to a teams overall standing.

Each year they hold several fundraisers even though track is one of the least expensive sports. Last year and earlier this year they sold pizzas that funded new uniforms for the team. Their track boosters sell concessions at the home meets and every year the boosters provide a meal for the team at the sub-section meet. The boosters have also given funds for athletes that need track shoes. And this year they paid $720 to help with busing.

Now, their fundraisers have more purpose than ever. They are trying to SAVE the track program. They are holding a 5K and 1 Mile Run May 19 and that will also include concessions and a bake sale.

For further information on the 5K and 1 Mile Run fundraiser or any other track info you can call Moon at 835-4569 or e-mail Stacy Swedberg at swedberg.blackduck.k12.mn.us.

Coach Moon asks that if you want to help, attend the school board meeting and support the program.

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