An student athlete combined his love for cross country sports and his commitment to scouting in a way that benefits the entire community.
Connor Musial, one of the team captains for the Avon Lake High School boys cross country team, completed his Boy Scout Eagle project by coordinating a team of volunteers to build a new half-mile cross country running course through the woods on the east end of the high school grounds. Musial is a member of Scout Troop 334, out of the h on Electric Boulevard in Avon Lake.
“I knew the high school track coach wanted to put a new track in back of the high school property for a long time,” Musial said. “When he started looking into the process this year, he found that the quote was way over school budget, mostly because of the cost of labor and equipment.
“I thought that building a track would be a great connection between the school, the track team, the scouts and the volunteers from the community."
Musial said ABC Rental donated the use of their equipment, and the labor came from fellow scout troop and cross country team members, as well as their parents. “We had a lot of support from the scouts, the runners and the coach,” he said. Completion of the track took more than 200 man hours of effort.
A Bobcat on loan from in Avon worked out perfectly for clearing the trail, Musial said, because the bucket was the exact width they planned for the track. An environmental planner was called in to assess the plans, and he suggested drainage tile be installed at different places along the course.
“Then, we put down double-shred mulch, which is really soft for runners, and crushed limestone on the tracking trails,” he said.
The Avon Lake Boosters Club provided the funds to purchase 100 cubic yards of mulch and screening. The track is 99 percent complete, Musial noted. The course will be compacted with a steam roller to finish it off.
He said the response from the community since the track was completed two weeks ago has been very positive, and that a lot of people are eager to try out the new course.
Avon Lake track coach Rob Juergens said the new cross country track is a great use of the property behind the high school.
“The track is very shady and cool. It gets the kids off of the roads,” he noted. “We are really fortunate that Connor’s project for Eagle Scout was due this year. It saved the schools a lot of money. We’re really excited about the course. We’ll get some good use out of it.”
The coach said he hopes to use the course as a base for future dual meets with other high school teams.