The event will pit athletes from Sparks, Reed and Spanish Springs against each other in a fight to see which local school has the best track and field stars.
Will it be the Raiders, who recently dominated a league meet that included cross-town rival Spanish Springs? Will it be the Cougars who are coming off a third-place finish at last year’s boys state championships track meet? Or will it be the underdog Railroaders, who might not receive as much respect or attention since they compete in the 3A?
“I just thought it would be something that would help out track and field up here and give us a sense of pride in Sparks between the three schools,” Sparks track and field coach Adam Barrett said. “I thought maybe it would be something that would give one of the Sparks schools bragging rights for the rest of the year.
“It’s something that I’ve been building up to the kids and started talking to them about it back during basketball season.”
This is an event that had been attempted to be organized before, but never came to fruition. However, with the help of local sponsors Scheels and the Daily Sparks Tribune, the meet will become a reality Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Sparks High School.
Barrett is thankful for the sponsors, so he doesn’t have to charge the other two schools to participate since it would be hard for those programs to come up with extra money to pay for an additional meet. Reed and Spanish Springs are already busy this week with a JV and varsity meet this week as well.
Because Sparks High only has six lanes on its track, each school is permitted only two competitors per event. While it might frustrate coaches who have depth in certain events, it evens the playing field for the three schools by adding strategy and allowing for a school with fewer bodies to hang in against a school with twice as many athletes.
Of course Sparks is excited about the opportunity to knock off some former rivals, something the Railroaders get few chances to do during the school year due to competing in a different class in sports. But the other schools are equally pumped up for this opportunity. The winners of the boys and girls competitions will each hold on to a trophy for a year and then put it up for grabs again the following season.
“It’s kind of a fun adventure. It’s something I guess they’ve been trying to put together for a couple years and were finally able to put it together,” Reed coach Dale Moss said. “We have to figure out who we want to take because we have a busy week. It will be fun to see. I’m really competitive, so I want to set the bar and say Reed High School is the team to go after.”
Individually, each winner of an event will receive a t-shirt recognizing the fact he or she was an event champion.
Spanish Springs coach Pat McGuire, a long-time coach in northern Nevada, likes the idea because each school has had periods where they had strong track programs. Being able to see who has the strongest program each year will be fun.
“This might be really interesting. This will be a good contest to see who is the best. It would have been nice to do it last year when we had some start sprinters,” McGuire said.