Washout forces ‘new’ course
BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Tunkhannock’s cross country team has been running on a ‘new’ course this season at the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fairgrounds in Meshoppen after September 2011 flooding left its home course in ruins.
Coach Randy White said there are two areas along the creek behind Tunkhannock Memorial Stadium that were severely washed out by last September’s flooding.
“There is one spot at the entrance to what we call ‘hernia hill,’” White said. “And one other spot on the way back down to the finish.”
White said what used to be a well carved trail is now a gully alongside the creek.
“It used to go straight across along the creek, but now it’s completely washed away,” White said. “And we didn’t have time to repair it before the start of the season, so that’s why we’re up at the fairgrounds.”
White said he plans to try and organize a work group sometime after the end of this season to sort out the home course.
“We’ll have to get a group up there to cut the trail up higher on the bank,” White said. “It will definitely be a lot of work.”
While the team has raced a pair of home meets at the fairgrounds, White pointed out that the team practices around Tunkhannock at several different venues.
He said the team practices on the newly created Iroqouis Trail along with on Sunnyside Road, Lake Wilderness Road, Redfield Street and Goble Hill Road.
“We practice all over,” White said. “I try to vary our workouts.”
White said the Tigers never train at the fairgrounds, but that merely running races on it will prepare the team for districts and beyond.
“The fair course is definitely getting us ready for districts and states,” White said. “It’s a very difficult course.”
The course at the fairgrounds is the same course used for the annual Wisnosky Jewelers 5K Gem Run that kicks off opening night of the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair with the starting line moved to the parking lot.
Looking ahead, the Tiger team will play host to the Wyoming Valley Conference Coaches meet on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the fairgrounds as it did for the first time last year.
“Everyone loves the course at the fairgrounds,” White said. “It’s just a great venue for races.”
White said this regular season some teams weren’t happy with traveling the extra distance to the fairgrounds, but once there he felt most of them enjoyed the course.
And as for the future of Tunkhannock’s home course, White isn’t sure when it will be race-ready again.