ROGERS - A local summer youth track and field team will continue its season now that it has approval to use the Beaver Local High School track.
Alma Claypool, Pegasus Track Club president, approached the Beaver Local Athletic Council in early February to request use of the track since the East Liverpool Frank J. Mangano Memorial Track will undergo major renovations this summer.
The club has used the East Liverpool track for several years, and Claypool was concerned the club would have to cancel its season if another track couldn't be used.
Youth members of the Pegasus Track Club and Modern Striders Track Club lined up for a sprint race during a previous track meet at Mangano Memorial Track in East Liverpool. (Submitted Photo)
The non-profit track club was formed in 1988 as the Challenger Track Club, and is for 5-to-18-year olds. Practices begin in late May and meets run through June.
The club had 251 members last year, and more than 80 were from the Beaver Local School District, according to Claypool.
Athletic Council members considered allowing the club to use the track in February, with some expressing concern about the 10-year-old track's condition.
By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN
ROGERS - The Pegasus Track Club annual Kidsfest track and field meet is scheduled for June 25 at the Beaver Local High School track.
This year marks the 20th year for the event, which was formerly held at the Frank J. Mangano Memorial Track at the East Liverpool High School.
Because the track is slated to undergo major renovations this summer, the club requested the use of the Beaver Local facility.
Prior to the memorial track, the event was held at Patterson Field, according to historical information provided by Club President Alma Claypool.
Kidsfest and the original Pegasus team, (Challenger Track club) was the "brainchild" of founder Jerry Humphrey, of East Liverpool, according to Claypool.
Humphrey named the club in memory of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster.
Club member Mike Walton said Kidsfest generates a "huge" crowd each year.
Claypool wished to thank Wendy's restaurant in Calcutta and Britt's Inc. (formerly Taylor Rental in Calcutta), for sponsoring food and supplies for the event the last 20 years.
"Thank you to all of the dedicated people over the years who have contributed to this event and to make it what it is today. Also, a special thanks to all of the thousands of athletes who participated over the last 20 years," she said.
Kidsfest is the final meet of the season for the club.
The council hopes to generate revenue for a track resurfacing project through advertising sales.
Pegasus Track Club member Mike Walton said a decision was reached by council members in April to allow the club to use the track.
"We're thankful we have somewhere to go because we really didn't want this thing to be idle for a year. That could really hurt. We appreciate it, we really do," he said.
Athletic Council member Brian McKenzie pointed out Wednesday that the club will use the track, minus the hurdles and high jump.
Walton said the club will begin practicing at the track June 2.
Club registration is scheduled for May 23-26 at the East Liverpool High School. Ages 5-8 can register from 6-7 p.m. and ages 9 and up can register from 7-8 p.m.
Participants must be age five or older by Dec. 31, 2010, and a photocopy of their birth certificate must be provided during registration and will be kept on file.
Membership is $30 (second child $25), and will include a uniform top.
Walton also wished to thank the East Liverpool School District for the use of its facilities, including the track, with the exception of this year.
"The school has been super in allowing Pegasus to use the facility. We have carte blanche down there. It's a wonderful thing for our kids to have that track. We look forward to next year with the brand new track," he said.
The East Liverpool Board of Education is doing multiple athletic facility improvements, including renovation of the track, which is estimated to cost around $300,000. Bids were opened Thursday for the track repairs and the district has taken those bids under advisement and is expected to act further on the matter at Monday's school board meeting.