The school board, acting upon the request by students, voted 5-0 at their Sept. 11 regular meeting to add track and field for girls and boys in the spring.
“I’ve been trying to start a track team here since my freshman year,” said Maxwell junior Summer McCloud, who has been researching track and field schedules, lining up the support from volunteers, and trying to get other students on board.
Maxwell High School does not have a track but district officials said students may be able to practice at Williams, Colusa, or Willows, if permission is granted by those districts.
Athletic director Forest Bateman said the sanctioned track and field events are typically held at various times Tuesday through Saturday, and that students would have a minimum number of invitational events they must attend in order to advance to regional and sectional competitions.
“It does cost money to go to them,” Bateman said.
District officials said there are still a number of things to work out but that offering the sport is feasible with support from parents, who will have to provide transportation, and the Maxwell Athletic Boosters, who could possibly help with uniforms and fees.
The district would have to pay the stipend for a track coach, said Superintendent Zach Thurman.
But had the school board not authorized the sport, students would have the legal option to temporarily transfer to another district in the spring then come back with no penalties.
“We would lose them during the track season to another school,” Bateman said.
There is no minimum number of students required to form a track team, but McCloud said she and three other girls are interested in forming a four-member relay team.
She said there are also four boys who have also expressed an interest.
“There could be two relay teams of both genders,” McCloud said.
Maxwell anticipates being admitted to the league by the end of the year.
School Board President Kelly Haywood said offering track and field will not only keep student from transferring out of the district for the opportunity to compete in the individualized sport, but may help the district pick up students who want to compete in Maxwell’s track program. ■