Starting Anew: The Uprooting of the PN Track Leaves a Melancholy Feeling Amongst Track Runners

Lexi Gavlas, Spotlight editor

On February 24th, 2017 the Portage Northern Track was uprooted following the construction plans of a new stadium in 2019.  Alexa Vanderhoff, Portage Northern Alum and Cross Country & Track Runner at Miami University of Ohio tweeted out that night, “RIP PN Track- although you had many cracks and ugly tan lines, were hella windy, and killed me in workouts, I’m still going to miss you.”  

The tweet attracted attention from Portage Northern students and alum, all sharing fond and funny memories from their past track seasons.  “It was another place to call home at Portage Northern  and another place to meet the people I now call my family.  It was was where blood, sweat, and tears were shed,” says Maggie Graham, a Portage Northern alum now running track and cross country at Olivet University.  “I drove past it the other day when I was home and it made me sad to think that such an important place to be is gone…with running in college at Olivet it makes me hopeful for the future of runners at PN to have such a nice place to run, but old red will be missed!” says Graham.


For others, the uprooting of the track reminded them of  moments shared on the track before races, and during workouts.  “In middle school, Connor Clemons drank an entire blue gatorade before a workout and puked bright blue all over the track, our coach ended up taking a picture of it and claimed he was going to sell it as ‘abstract art,’”  says Anna Rabe (10).  For Dylan Miller (12), the memories of the Portage Northern Track include wiping out and “getting very familiar with how hard the tracks surface was.”  Others, such as Owen Langejans (11), reminisce the day they showed up for a hard workout, only to find the track covered in asphalt to try and mend the cracks.  “We joked that our Track was like Benton Harbor’s,” says Langejans. The joke was likely on PN, however: despite the highly successful track program, the Huskies are known for having the worst track in the conference.


The new generation of track runners look forward to a bright future of smooth running on the school’s new track within the “Athletic Event Facility.”  “I’m excited to see what potential lies within the new stadium.  For me, the old track doesn’t make me sad about the past memories, it makes me feel excited for all the workouts, races, and memories that will be made on the new [track].” says Hannah Koffler (9), who will be able to train at the new facility within her time at Portage Northern.