Ribet Academy

Where do I begin? First lets congratulate this school on installing a track. The former dirt track was one of the worst and worst kept tracks in Los Angeles--and that was saying something. This new track has moved this small private school out of the dark ages of the track world. There is plenty to complain about the new track, and I will complain, but given the circumstances I can see how many of the decisions were arrived at. The sharp points of the turns are about the sharpest turns I have seen on a competition marked track (so the Woodland Pines Apartments are excepted). In mathematical terms, the lane 1 radius is about 2m for about 70 degrees (meaning it is almost square). The rest of the turn is a wide 70m+ radius turn. With the sharp turns and 106m straightaways, they are still able to stay out of the football end zones, so you know the football coach had his say on the track design. With the 2 freeway on one end and the gym on the other, they had no additional length available and the first turn falls away to the street on the far side--in short, there is not much more land available here. How or why they arrived at the 330.3 length seems more like confused mathematics to me. As the monday morning quarterback with a track inclination, I would have preferred they shortened the track length and had made the turns usable.

With the tight turns, that is obnoxious enough for me, as I tried to run this it added about 2-3 seconds to my 400 time (and I did lane 4). But this is marked for 300H and how their hurdlers can adjust their steps is beyond me. The 1st hurdle is just about 5m past the first sharp turn in lane 1, and the 4th hurdle (as seen in the second photo is less than a meter into the second tight turn--that poor hurdler is probably straddling the hurdle and landing in lane 2 (who is having an equally difficult time getting ready for their hurdle.

There is a 5.5m (width of the track) chute for the home stretch, enough for the 100H (which are marked) to finish at the 12m offset finish line but not enough to run 110H (not marked, they would have about 2m and the width of the track to stop before a metal railing next to the gym). The old, poorly maintained dirt track at this location was notable because the west end of the track was usually burried by lawn clippings. Now the new AW track is experiencing the same thing, though to a lesser degree. I wouldn't want to do the complete math on this multiradius turn track, but I know it is wrong with the marks somewhere. The last 300H mark is 1m before, not after the last 100H mark (they should be reversed and separated by .5m).

The lane staggers are off. 2 turn staggered 400 start lines are separated by 3.1m, the 300m start lines (about 1.6 turns stagger) are cord separated by 2.8m, the 200m 1 turn stagger start lines are separated by 2.9m and the 800m start lines are separated by 5.7m (how many turn stagger is that?--by the position of the 800 start, it could be 4.5 turns, but why?) By the same logic, I found no 1600 or 3200 start lines, though there is the unexplained line at the far end of the backstretch.

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