It’s not uncommon for rivals to share a home field for games, but it’s pretty uncommon to practice with your rival at the same facility, every day.
As crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what the Kenmore West Blue Devils and the Kenmore East Bulldogs’ track teams have done this spring.
Since crews are still finishing up the upgrades at Adams Field, the Bulldogs have had to go to Crosby Field, the home of the Blue Devils for the meets and practices this season.
That means that all 180 track athletes between the two schools have been practicing at Crosby for the past month or so. The kids at East get a bus that takes them from East to Crosby after school every day but they must get their own ride home.
It’s an arrangement that has not caused too many issues between the athletes according to the coaches.
“The fact that there are over 180 people trying to cram together makes it chaotic,” Ken-East head coach Tim Metivier said. “The fact that we are rivals with them isn’t a big thing.”
Ken-West head coach Marty Madore agreed saying the biggest troubles that they have ran into is dealing with the ongoing construction at Crosby Field.
“The challenge has been more not knowing what to expect when we come down here and limited access to parts of the field,” Madore said. “Practicing with (East) hasn’t been an issue, it’s more the conditions.”
After crews install the track and all the field events, the work at Adams Field will be done and focus will turn to Crosby and the fields at Kenmore West High School. Crews have already got a jump start at Crosby as they have installed the new home side bleachers and press box.
Despite all the trouble that the construction is causing right now, both coaches look forward to the future and what it will bring.
“As the bleachers went up and we saw how awesome they looked it was kind of a snapshot of what the future will bring,” Madore said. “We’re truly excited.”
Metivier has stopped by Adams Field multiple times to see how the construction is going there and how it will look next year. He’s been amazed.
“It’s a really nice facility,” Metivier said. “It’s crazy how much it has changed. I’m looking for to using it next year.”
Meanwhile on the track, both East and West have been having good seasons.
The Bulldogs, coming off an indoor season where they saw a few records get broken, are continuing their success in the spring.
Seniors Zach Coburn and Jake Kluge along with Sophomores John O’Connell and Papouch Schmoyer broke the school 4×200 meter relay running it in 1 minute and 33.9 seconds.
Junior Julia Brundin now has both the indoor and outdoor school pole vault record reaching 10-6. Brundin beat the previous record by one foot.
Coburn also has the third best 200-meter time in school history.
The Blue Devils have not had bad spring either.
Senior Jahlel St. John has been a pentathlete since the eighth grade. This past weekend, St. John qualified for states with a score of 3,061 at the Pioneer Invitational.
St. John was held back from qualifying in the event for states last year thanks to an injury.
“Last year I should’ve went but I was held back by injuries,” St. John said last week. “I’m hungry.”
The strength of Ken West this season comes from the senior dominated mid-distance and distance runners.
Seniors Alex Militello, Colin Lynch and KJ Saadiq are having strong years.
Saadiq is a workhorse for the Blue Devils running the 800-meter and is a part of 3200-meter and 1600-meter relays. Militello and Lynch both run the mile and the two-mile. Militello is also the second leg of the 3200m relay. Lynch is the team’s steeplechase runner.
Junior Alex Fusani just started track this year and has already run the fastest mile time for Ken West in about a decade. Fusani also runs the two-mile, running it in 4:48.26 this past weekend.
Sophomore Mark Marrelli has qualified for sectionals in the 400-meter hurdles.
Junior Christina Wende leads the girls in the Long Jump, Triple Jump and 100m hurdles. Wende’s Triple Jump of 36-6 is a Pioneer Invitational record.
Both St. John and Coburn are football players first but after getting introduced to sport in the eighth grade, they have enjoyed all the success they’ve had from doing track and thankful they did it.
Coburn tried it out in eight grade at St. Amelia’s and then decided to do it when he got to Kenmore East.
“I did track one year in middle school and I liked it so I came out in high school,” Coburn said. “My freshman year I was contending for the varsity 4×100-meter relay and from then on I wanted to compete for records. I love track and I’m really glad I did it.”
A middle school gym-teacher recommended track to St. John and after getting his picture in a local publication felt that he could really make a mark in the sport.
“My gym teacher in middle school actually suggested it to me. I thought it would build my endurance and speed for football. Plus, it was a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends in it,” St. John said. “I’ll always remember my eight-grade year when I got on the front cover of the (Ken-Ton) Bee and it made me feel like ‘ok I can do this’.”
Work at Adams Field is set to be done in a few weeks and will open in the fall. Crews will likely begin installing the new turf and 8-lane track at Crosby Field as soon as the track season ends.