Community donations lead to new Basalt High shot put area, allow for home meet |

Community donations lead to new Basalt High shot put area, allow for home meet

What looks like nothing more than a new beach volleyball court on the Basalt High School campus is actually the missing ingredient that will allow the Longhorns to host a track and field meet come spring.

Thanks to generous donations from businesses up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, BHS track coach Allyson Decatur was able to lead a group effort to put in a new shot put area and upgrade the discus throw launching pad over the past month.

“Besides a few equipment pieces, this is the last of what we needed to build to host a home meet,” Decatur said. “This is the last piece of the puzzle to really make this thing happen. We wouldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for our community.”

It was a project that cost more than $10,000 and was funded completely through donations. Ross Dombrowski served as the project’s superintendent, overseeing the excavation and installing the timbers and weed barrier for the shot put area. Decatur, who is a general contractor by day, was the project manager.

The pit, which is located between the BHS softball and soccer fields, is about 4,000 square feet. The concrete area that will house the discus throw is located nearby, with the athletes throwing onto the softball field. Eventually a small grandstand will be installed in that area for spectators.

“It looks like it belongs here, but it really was a lot of work,” Decatur said. “It took three days for them. It was almost $6,000 for the excavator.”

Hagist Excavation did most of the work, with materials being donated by Western Slope Materials, Builders FirstSource, Valley Lumber, Gallegos and Grand Junction Pipe. The donations were needed after the school district decided not to approve the project’s funding.

“It was cool to see the people who are passionate about this community come out and make this dream possible, which I think is amazing,” BHS senior Tucker Bruce said.

Bruce organized a volunteer day on Aug. 24 as part of his senior capstone project. About a dozen people, mostly coaches and family members, along with fellow BHS athletes Ben Williams and Noah Allen, got together to help with some of the manual labor needed to build the pit.

With the work all but done, this means the Longhorns can host their first track and field meet in nearly 10 years. However, according to Decatur, the last time BHS hosted a meet it was hand-timed and therefore wasn’t an official state qualifying meet. The 2020 meet, tentatively scheduled for May 2, will be. Decatur said officials and competing schools have already been notified of the area’s newest meet.

“Having a home track meet has always been something that I’ve always really wanted,” said Bruce, who typically competes in the 800-meter run for the Longhorns. “Having a home meet here would bring in a ton of money for the program and also it would make it so a lot more of our classmates can come watch us compete. I feel like with cross country and track and some other sports, more of the sports that don’t get mentioned as much, to have a home meet would be great just for the confidence of the athletes.”