Track and Field Lends Hand on Hank Aaron State Trail
April 23, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Park System has long provided an invaluable training ground for the student-athletes on Marquette University's men's and women's track and field teams. Those men and women showed their appreciation Sunday, April 15 by dedicating an afternoon to cleaning the western end of the Hank Aaron State Trail.
Roughly 80 track and field athletes headed out from the Marquette Gym with trash bags in tow to lend a helping hand to the county park system that has provided them with so much.
"Being students of Marquette, service is something we find very important and it meant a lot to be able to give back to something that has been so important to us over the years," senior distance runner Blake Johnson said. "It was also special that we got to do a service project as a team, which can be hard for us because we are in season all year round. This was really great to be able to spend time as one big team while helping out the Milwaukee County Parks System."
The student-athletes and coaches worked through the afternoon on the trail, picking up trash and cleaning a western two-mile section of the trail. In total, the Hank Aaron Trail stretches from Lake Michigan out past 123rd Street at the Milwaukee/Waukesha County line.
"The Milwaukee County Park System and specifically the Hank Aaron Trail, have been a huge asset to the cross country and track teams," senior Academic All-American Olivia Johnson said. "The countless number of miles each of us has logged on the trails, whether as easy morning recovery runs or pounding out a hard-tempo workout, is truly indicative of how appreciative we are to have such a great resource."
Along with the Hank Aaron Trail, Marquette utilizes the full breadth of trails the county system offers, training routinely at Oak Leaf Trail in addition to the Hank Aaron Trail. The distance group uses those two trails on an almost daily basis while using the other trails about two times a week during the spring and three times a week in the fall during cross country season.
"Being a long distance runner located in a large city can create many challenges and difficulties in training," Blake Johnson shared. "The many miles of trails that the Milwaukee County Park System provides, allows us to train the way we need. We have spent countless hours running on those trails over the years and we will be spending more and more in the future. Part of the success we see as athletes here at Marquette can be contributed to the ideal training environment the Milwaukee County Parks Systems provides."
Other local training areas used by Marquette cross country and track and field: