When the doors of Alonso High School opened in the fall of 2001, excellence in and out of the classroom became the standard for all members of the Alonso family. Alonso High School will host over 3,000 students in the next couple of years. We have over 58% of our students on free and reduced lunch, and our population consists of 49% Hispanic, 34% White, 7% black and 6% multi-racial students. We are not an affluent school, but we are a family and proud of our school and the people that come through our doors.
That same philosophy was extended to the competition surfaces of the Ravens Track and Field/Cross Country program. Now, entering our 12th season of competition, the program stands firmly on the foundation of fun, fair, and equal opportunity, diversity of ideals, hard work, and a commitment to the school's mission. At Alonso High School we are a community where Excellence is the goal; Diversity is valued, and Integrity is expected!
Since 2007, Coach Roger Mills has lead a resurgence of the Track and Field/Cross Country program. It began a renewal of recruiting the hallways, finding talented coaches who can teach the specifics, maintaining proud academic standards and improving the reputation of the teams at Alonso. In the last two years, the Ravens girls and boys cross country teams won the county's best GPA award for their respective sports; the girls in 2015, the boys in 2016. The coaching staff not only pushes the athletes to excel in their events, they teach them the value of their education and importance of being a part of an athletic family and tradition. They show the athletes the "possibilities" their future could hold.
Now, records are perpetually falling and the Ravens are major players in Hillsborough County and have made nine straight appearances at the state track finals. Over the past seven years, Alonso has broken over 77 records, sent 42 athletes to the state meet, introduced a new team logo, launched a new website, and won numerous district and regional individual titles.
Our athletes are currently practicing on an asphalt track that is in need of resurfacing to a rubberized surface. Our track equipment needs to be replaced. Due to the surface, our athletes are unable to practice routinely. We cannot host meets because our surface is not up to the standards of other area schools, and teams are hesitant to have their runners get hurt on our track. We have had athletes out for the entire season due to injuries.
In a 2002 report published by the "Journal of Applied Physiology," Amy Kerdok and colleagues stated that "tuned tracks" made of polyurethane, produced improvement in running speeds by two to three percent and decreased the number of running-related injuries by 50 percent, compared with track surfaces made with other materials.
Currently resurfacing our track will cost us about $120,000, not including new equipment. We can qualify for matching funds from the school district's education foundation of $50,000, as long as we raise matching funds to that amount. Our total goal is then $75,000, which leaves us $5,000 to apply to equipment needs, or anything over that amount. Our number one goal is to get the resurfacing done as quickly as possible.
With your help we can make this new track a reality for our team, our school and our community. So please consider one of the sponsorship levels in our quest to have the new track installed within the next year. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.