Track practice is harder with age

Preparation for the May 3rd community track meet leads to soreness
Wednesday I had my first track practice of the season. It was a blast until I stopped practicing.
   Now I'm sore, and when I got up this morning my body sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Even one of my co-workers noticed it when I got up for the first time at work on Thursday.
   Right now I think it was worth it. If I'm still sore in a couple of days I may have to rethink that. At my current age it is getting increasingly harder to distinguish between an injury and just being sore.
   Anyway the goal is to get ready first for the annual Blue and Gold Community Track meet on Saturday, May 3, and eventually to try to be ready for the National Masters Meet in Spokane in August.
   I may never make it to the national meet. It is getting harder and harder to get the time and the motivation to practice at a high enough level to get ready for something like that, and Karlene, my wife, has an opportunity to run in a road race at Crater Lake National Park on the same weekend. But I can definitely participate in the community meet.
   If you have kids in track or if you were once a track star, or if you just want to come out and have a good time you should come out and join me.
   There is no fee to participate in the meet. Field events begin at 3 p.m. with running events starting at 4 p.m. It is probably the only chance most of us will get each year to compete head-to-head with high school athletes, and it can be a lot of fun.
   If you want to stay and help the track program, beginning at 5 p.m. is the annual Blue/Gold Luau. Tickets are $6 and are available from any track team member or coach.
   While we are on the subject of fundraisers there are some other fundraisers coming up in the near future as well.
   This Saturday the softball team is having a barbecue during their doubleheader with Pendleton.
   The first game of the day has been moved to 1 p.m., but the barbecue is still at 2 p.m. like it was originally scheduled. Food will be served from 2-4 p.m. and tickets are available from all team members or may be purchased at the event.
   Then on April 24 is the 12th annual Benefit Golf Tournament to raise money for the Crook County High School golf teams.
   The tournament is a four-person scramble. Your entry includes two carts, greens fees, dinner, and awards. There will also be a raffle and auction. Cost of the tournament is $280 per team.
   It is too bad that teams need to fundraise to have enough money for state competition or travel, but that is the harsh reality in today's budget climate.
   It is critical that academics come first, but there is overwhelming evidence that participation in high school athletics has benefits to both the individual and society.
   Statistically athletes get better grades than non-athletes in spite of lost school time. Athletics teach teamwork, discipline, and hopefully sportsmanship.
   We currently have an obesity problem in the United States, and as of last week the official report is that in every state but Colorado more than 50 percent of the population is overweight. High school athletics has the potential to help with this situation.
   If you need more proof that athletics can be beneficial, in a study of corporate CEO's done in 2002 more than 80 percent of the executives surveyed had participated in high school sports. It was the activity that the largest number of CEO's had participated in, and the single number one thing that they credited with their business success.
   Anyway I hope to see you at some of the activities. Come on out and support CCHS athletics.
   Lon Austin is the sports reporter for the Central Oregonian. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.