Surface Tension: Tennessee Counties Continue To Lag Behind

All Shapes And Sizes

Over the last two seasons, I've see tracks of all shapes and sizes across Tennessee. Huntingdon High School has four rubberized lanes, McCallie has six, Houston has seven, and Farragut has nine. While the long straightaways and tight turns of McCallie and the odd number lane total of Houston will appear strange the first time you see them, none of them compare to the track at Union Catholic High School in New Jersey. 

After Garmin RunningLane in 2021, a runner from the school saw some clips I shot from the race and reached out on Instagram to see if I could send them to him. Out of curiosity, I looked up his school just to see where exactly in the country it was and while I should've known already considering Sydney McLaughlin attended there, finding out she was an alumni was secondary to the impression this aerial photo of the school that populated made on me. 

Now, we can sit here and unpack the absurdity of the dimensions. The team can't exactly host any kind of official track meet or even run a full curve that is true to standard. But when you get past all the questions about the limitations this facility has and focus in on the most basic question of "Why does this track exist in the first place?" the answer is very clear. Having a rubberized track surface of any size at your campus is, much like a gym, a necessity and not a luxury. It's the bare minimum.