MILBANK, S.D. (KELO) — Even with all the melting that’s been going on, there’s still quite a bit of snow in the northeast.
In Milbank, the high school track team hasn’t been able to practice on their track because it was buried in about two feet of snow, that is until volunteers took matters into their own hands.
“We just got sick and tired of waiting on Mother Nature,” Milbank track coach Eric Townsend said.
So they put spring on the fast track by rounding up about 35 to 40 volunteers and threw a snow shoveling party at the high school track.
“I sent out a text to a group of parents and I threw something on Facebook and that was it,” elementary teacher Jessica Hanson said.
They used shovels and snowblowers, but one man brought his John Deere tractor and that was a blessing.
“That kind of saved our tails, because he was able to go into those middle lanes that snow was so heavy so to try to shovel it and throw it off the track when you’re standing in the middle of the track would have been a real shoulder buster,” Hanson said.
Up until now, Townsend says to practice, the track team had to be kind of creative.
“We were inside, in the gym, in the hallways in the school; distance runners would go outside a little bit, but that was even minimal because the roads weren’t even that great,” Townsend said.
It took about three hours and a lot of willpower to clear the entire track. They say the next day they were sore, but in the end, it was worth it.
“There’s always that old expression many hands make light work, although the work was not light, but you’d look down the track and the home stretch and see everybody working and kind of feel like whoooo there’s a whole nother side another curve to go, but then you’d say holy smokes I can’t believe we just did that,” Hanson said.
“Honestly prior to this all going on I was hoping to get just one lane cleared off to be able to practice,” Townsend said.
“When community members, especially when you have varying ages like we had, there’s always that sense of community,” Hanson said. “This is why we live here, this is what we do.”
Townsend says now the issue might be getting to the track because of all the standing water around it from the melting snow.