ALCESTER, SD - SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) -- A $450,000 improvement project could put a KELOLAND school district on the right track when it comes to running. Alcester-Hudson is getting ready to host a big event on its new outdoor track. It's a project that has been nearly three decades in the making that could boost the school and future students.The district tested it out on Friday with a track and field day for elementary school students.
As the saying goes, on your mark, get set, go!
"This is a big day for us, a huge day for us," Tim Rhead, Alcester-Hudson superintendent, said.
It was a race to the finish at Alcester-Hudson's track and field day.
"You're able to just have fun, and even if you lose, it's just about having fun," Cheyenne Christie, second grader, said.
"A lot of my friends are fast and they're always racing me and kind of preparing me for other races," Taten Braaten, third grader, said.
High school senior Kendra Jensen helped out by coaching the young runners.
"I remember coming to these days and just having the best time and I can definitely see myself in the kids here," Kendra Jensen, senior, said.
Kendra has run her whole life, and has gone to state with the cross country team five times. Her experience didn't involve this brand new track.
"Having this track to practice on full speed and that changes the entire direction of the team," Kendra said.
The track is a big improvement from what used to there. Let's just say there were a lot of hurdles.
"It used to be gravel, kind of a cinder track. Really broken up. You'd hit a rock every once in a while and twist your ankle," Kendra said. "It hurt a lot!"
Superintendent Tim Rhead says the school district paid for half with a bond voters approved. Community donors pitched in $250,000 for the rest and new equipment. On May 7th, thanks to the new track, the school will host its first track meet since its last one in 1993.
"People drive by that and they realize, 'hey, we're moving forward. We're getting things done here and it's a great place to be," Rhead said.
In a world that's all about how you finish, Kendra says this school and community investment will give her younger counterparts a good start.
"It really inspires the town and the teams and the community in general to get going on the sport," Kendra said.