The Noblesville Athletic Dept. dedicated the newest addition to its sports complexes on Aug. 16 – a finish line to the Chinquapin Ridge Miller Cross Country Course behind White River Elementary School, 19000 Cumberland Rd.
Noblesville High School Athletic Director Mike Hasch said the new amenity makes Noblesville “the best state cross country course here in Indiana.”
“A huge part of this process has been the community in putting their time, talent and treasure in donation to put this together,” he said.
Miller Backer President Trini Beaver said the gate started as a picture at a Miller Backer meeting. The idea was brought by Kent Graham, boy’s coach, and Dennis Scheele, girl’s coach.
“It is truly a commitment by the entire community and all the people at Noblesville that enjoy cross country and have supported our program,” Scheele said. “Coach Graham and I put a lot of time into it but it’s a passion of love and I think the course speaks for itself.”
“It started out asking for $4,000 but I have no idea how much money and time have been put into it but it’s really immeasurable. We have something really special here,” Graham said.
Graham said the cross country course finish line includes a clock and computer clip pads. Runners will wear computer chips on their shoes or in their bib numbers that will provide accurate timing. Graham said a project like this separates Noblesville from others.
“We’re pretty certain in Indiana we’re the only ones and probably just about anywhere else in the Midwest or across the country for a high school program to have something like this,” he said.
Noblesville hosts five major events including the Hamilton County and Hoosier Crossroads cross country meets, IHSAA sectionals and new this year – the IHSAA regional meet.
“It’s always been coach and I’s vision to have one of the best cross country courses in the state of Indiana. We’ve been working on this for 15 years or more. I remember when it was just a bean field and we actually took a tractor and just the bean field and it was just weeds and we ran through that,” Scheele said. “I have never asked for something we didn’t need, but when I’ve asked we’ve always got it and I’m very appreciative of that.”