Even the kids enjoyed the chance to run on Community Track Night

Houghton High School athletic director John Sanregret addresses a group of kids aged nine and under, before their 400-meter dash Wednesday as part of the Community Track Night held on Houghton high school track. (Daver Karnosky/Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Wednesday night’s first-ever community track night in Houghton had an astonishing turnout. Community members showed up to race, cheered on racers, and supported Houghton’s athletic program and track team.

This event featured a kid’s race as well. For some, it was just another fun night for them since they are already involved in Houghton’s track program, but for others – this was their first time ever racing, let alone on the big high school track with a big crowd.

The track was roaring with energy. Music was played on the speakers as kids danced on the field and families filled the bleachers.  

400-meter kid’s dash 10 and up racers Ruby Petersen, Maija Mechlin, Lucia Petersen, and Madison Tormala spoke on how they felt about being able to race in front of their community members. 

“I felt very accomplished,” Ruby Petersen said. 

“That was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life,” her friend Madison Tormala added as she was out of breath from just finishing up her mile run. 

This event was organized by Clayton Sayen, a former Houghton High School track athlete. He was seen greeting community members all night long and helping out the kids during their races too. Many of the younger kids involved in the event knew him and looked up to him.  

“I think Clayton is running this too. It’s so cool that he planned this for the community,” Ruby Petersen said. 

Everyone was encouraged to come out to race, no matter if they had previous experience on the track. 

The girls mentioned that their favorite race to watch was the 400-meter nine and under race. They loved watching the younger kids, many of their own siblings, try it out for the first time and see what running the big track is like.        

Three of the girls were involved with the track team already, so they are used to running on this track. 

Unlike the others, this was Lucia’s first time running.

“I felt tired but it was really cool to be on the big track,” she said.

Everyone had different reasons for wanting to participate in the event. Whether it was to challenge themselves, or just have a fun night with their friends.  

“I wanted to participate to help me get better and get some good practice in,” Mechlin said, and the other girls agreed.

“I think it’s just really cool that our community is able to put on these events and that we have access to a track. I wanted to participate to support the community,” Ruby added.  

The night was a success and they hope to make this a tradition going forward.


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