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Saturday, April 12, 2008   

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Prep track: Ruston enjoying dramatic renovations

RUSTON — Ruston High School made a big showing of last weekend’s L.J. “Hoss” Garrett Relays, using the event to unveil a new six-lane, all-weather track.

And that’s not all. Ruston’s track and field facelift also included upgrading the program’s fieldhouse that houses opposing football teams.

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“We’re very proud of how it all turned out and believe we have a first-class facility now,” Ruston track and field coach Dave Anderson said. “It was a long time coming and took a lot of work, but it’s all worth it when you see it now.

“The Relays were pushed back a day because of weather, but once we got out there Saturday, everything went great and everyone seemed to be impressed with the new track and facility. It was a great weekend.”

The track, built by Vibra World out of Texas, has red-colored numbers designating each lane of the black polyethylene. The surface is resistant to standing water and reminds visiting teams where they’re running with that Ruston “red” — the school’s athletic program’s primary color — standing out strong.

It had been about 10 years since any resurfacing had been done to Ruston’s track.

Ruston’s new track building, which will be rechristened the L.J. “Hoss” Garrett Fieldhouse, has roughly doubled in size, with 60 girls lockers, 116 boys lockers and separate dressing areas. Shower stalls and bathroom areas are now larger and there’s also more storage space.

“It really is now a multi-purpose building,” Anderson said. “That’s because it can accommodate multiple teams. It will also help with our soccer team and our strength and conditioning program. If we have freshman and JV football games, those teams will now have separate dressing rooms. Upgrading the building is a big part of this project.”

Fans will not only see the upgrades, they’ll get to experience them in the form of an expanded concessions area that has more than doubled in size and will feature an expanded selection of food and drink.

Some NFL-caliber former Ruston track stars helped bring about the upgrades as talks between Anderson and former RHS standouts Jack Hunt, Kyle Williams, Kenny Wright, Michael Green and Patrick Ramsey helped make the new track and facilities become a reality.

“Jack mentioned it initially and it just grew from there, with all of these former Bearcats being involved and supporting what was going to be done,” Anderson said. “It’s something all former and current athletes can be proud of, as well as anyone who loves Ruston High.”



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Originally published April 12, 2008

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