NIPOMO, Calif. - Thousands of dollars in track and field equipment at Nipomo High School has been destroyed after an early morning car wreck happened during Thanksgiving break.
According to the school, just after 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday, a car crashed through the chain link fence that separates the parking lot from the stadium on the west side of the campus.
California Highway Patrol has not yet released the accident report to identify the driver or the exact cause of the crash.
During the crash, the car went up a slight embankment and into the shot put/discus throwing area before plowing straight into a wooden shed.
“It basically damaged all of the equipment that was inside of the track shed,” said assistant track and field coach Lawrence Rucker.
The impact of the crash was so forceful it left equipment strewn for several yards, including shot puts weighing up to 12-pounds, which were found approximately 30 yards away on the football field.
“We lost quite a bit of equipment,” Rucker said. “We lost our starting blocks, about 12-to-15 sets, our hurdle cart, we lost tons of uniforms, we lost training hurdles, we lost some discs and everyday training items were lost.”
Nipomo athletic director Russ Edwards estimates the school lost between $10,000-to-$15,000 worth of equipment.
The school is now in the process of determining how to replace the destroyed or damaged equipment. Fortunately for the school, track and field season does not begin for a couple of months.
“We're in the winter sports season, so since this happened during Thanksgiving break, it gives us an opportunity to get some replacement equipment in time,” said Rucker. “We start the season in February, so we have time hopefully to get some replacement equipment that we're going to need.”
Rucker is upset with the crash, particularly because the shed played an important fraternal role with athletes on the track and field team.
“It was unnecessary,” Rucker said. “It was a shock to lose it because it's been at the school since around 2005 and it's kind of been a staple here. Usually when we have home track meets, you'll see throwers gather here and they're BBQing or hanging out and having a good time.”