By Doug Brenneman, The JOURNAL
Even though it is early in the high school track season, Demons have been hitting the streets in more ways than one. Not only are the Washington athletes running to get in shape for meets, they are also running around offering discount cards that will help support the program.
Both the Washington boys and girls teams will compete at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex in Mount Pleasant in an invitational track meet.
Washington boys track coach Steve Roth said that the $10 cards that team members are selling are quite a bargain and more importantly the money is vital for program accessories.
Coach Roth said that the team gets 600-700 cards and sells about half of them. Roth has been selling the cards as a fundraiser for the past 30 years.
?We need money,? Roth said. ?A guy out of Des Moines sets it up for me. He gets all the businesses on the card and they are all local.?
There are 12 different business, including restaurants and a grocery store on a card, that offer various discounts.
The team is raising money that is used for coats, shirts, and other various items as well as food for meets during the week. Any monies that are left over are given to the booster club.
?They hold on to it for us until we find something else we need, which we always do,? Roth said.
Getting clothes ordered and distributed to more than 40 teenagers is a task in itself.
The team has been practicing since Feb. 12. Washington hosted an indoor meet at Cornell March 9.
?I like getting to run at an indoor meet,? Roth said. ?It helps me see where the team is at so I know what we need to work on and if we need to change tactics.?
There were plans to run at a second indoor meet ? a championship meet put on by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches. It was scheduled for March 24 in Dubuque but weather prevented it from being conducted. It is ironic that weather would affect on indoor meet but it was a snowstorm that made travel to the meet dangerous the cause of the cancellation.
Roth has high hopes for this season?s team.
?We will have some good events,? he said. ?I think we will get at least four or five through to state.?
The team has had some extra time to practice and sell cards Monday and Tuesday.
?They have had finals the last two days so they were done at (1 p.m.) so I had them hit the streets before practice and push those cards,? Roth said.