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Root-damaged track forcing Riverview to travel to home meets this season

Michael DiVittorio
| Friday, March 9, 2018, 12:48 p.m.
Riverside Park across from Riverview High School in Oakmont.
Michael DiVittorio/Tribune-Review
Riverside Park across from Riverview High School in Oakmont.
The Riverview boys cross country team warms up on the track during a recent practice on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 at Riverside Park in Oakmont.
Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
The Riverview boys cross country team warms up on the track during a recent practice on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 at Riverside Park in Oakmont.

Riverview High School track and field teams will have no home meets this season because of problems with the track at Riverside Park.

The track is damaged by tree roots that have pushed it up and made it uneven. There are several bumps in lane one and another in lane two.

“The safety is the major issue,” Riverview Athletic Director Mario Rometo said. “It's a tough situation, because we had a unique track compared to other schools around here. It's visually appealing with the scenery, trees, tennis courts and basketball court.”

Rometo said a meeting with officials from other schools in the league would take place this week to determine where Riverview's home meets will take place. The school has four meets in March and April that need to be rescheduled.

“It's not ideal,” Rometo said. “It makes for a lot more phone calls and trying to make everything work. I do feel bad for the kids, especially the seniors not being able to perform at home.”

There are roughly 25 trees in the lower portion of the park where the track is located. Five of them are causing problems.

“When the track was first put in the idea was to keep the trees for shade and the appearance,” Oakmont Borough Manager Lisa Cooper Jensen said. “Right now, we're trying to figure out what's the safest thing to do.”

The borough bought the all-weather track from New York-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces about seven years ago. It was a cinder track prior to that.

Estimated replacement cost is $75,000 to $100,000. Oakmont, which maintains the track used by the school district, wants to reduce expenses by removing some trees and repairing the trouble spots. The scope of the tree removal has not been determined.

“We're looking at different proposals,” Jensen said.

No work will be done until after state competitions May 26. Practices, which began last week, will continue at the park through the season.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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