The meet raises money for the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation
ATASCADERO — Since the summer of 2000, the All Comers Track Meet has been a family favorite in Atascadero. This year the event started on Wednesday, July 13, with the following meet on Wednesday, July 20, and concluding with its final meet on Wednesday, July 27. The All Comers track meet is held at Atascadero Memorial Stadium at Atascadero High School.
“Most years, we have 4-5 weeks of competition,” said All Comers Meet Director Robyn Schmidt. “This year, due to track repairs, we are only having three weeks. But, they are always consecutive weeks unless the 4th of July interferes.”
Though All Comers took a break in 2020, it was back in 2021, with the community ready to join in the family-friendly fun once again. This year is no different.
“Atascadero All Comers meets are geared toward the participant who wants to be active, healthy, and have some fun,” continued Schmidt. “That could mean they are trying one or more events for the very first time, or they are experienced track athletes just wanting to participate without high-intensity competition to hone their skills in the off-season. Occasionally we get an athlete participating as a part of their training leading up to a big summer competition.”
The All Comers style of track meet is just that, a place to compete and have fun for participants of all skill levels, ages, and abilities. The meet includes track favorites such as discus, high jump, shot put, relays, hurdles, and meter races that go from 100 meters to 3,000 meters.
“We have events that are geared toward very young kids like ‘Turbo Jav’ (a javelin event that uses plastic javelins with blunt rubber tips) and ‘kids hurdles.’ The kid’s hurdles are the favorite event of the meet, where you get to watch kids as young as two years old run or walk over or around hurdles about 10 inches high. It is adorable,” added Schmidt. “We have had high school record holders in our 1,500 meters and mile races. We have had runners as old as 94 run in our events. And we have had Olympians participate as well. Then we have the parent that brings their kid and decides they don’t want to miss out on the old feeling of competition. Most participants are local, but we do have those who come from Fresno and other places out of our county. It’s a great mix.”
Not only is the All Comers track meet an event to get out and stretch your athletic abilities, but it also raises money for the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation. The foundation is known for supporting and developing events that provide healthy activities for Atascadero’s youth to help prevent substance abuse.
“It is so exhilarating and heartwarming to see the intense competition as well as the families enjoying the meet and interactions with each other and the volunteers. I love this community,” Schmidt stated.
Participants in All Comers who come in first through fourth place receive ribbons, as well as all youth 12 years and younger.
“I just want to thank all my volunteers, current and past, because this event could not happen without them. I would also like to thank Harry Mara and Dena Coppo, who started this event over 20 years ago. It has been such a blessing to the track and field community as well as the local community,” said Schmidt.