We received an email this week notifying us that Johnson County Community College in Kansas is planning on shutting down the program - and demolishing its track - at the end of the year. So a bunch of athletes will be without a program and the community at large will lose another track.
Here is the email we received:
A LRC visitor wrote:
Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS. Recently the Community College has decided to shut down the program as of May 2018. They will rip up the outdoor track sometime in the Summer or Fall to make way for new soccer, softball and baseball fields. They say that by eliminating the programs it will allow them to be more competitive with the other sports programs they are currently focusing on and save them money. This program has 57 National Champions, 1,380 All-Americans and 80 Conference titles in 32 years. The Johnson County Community College has been a very successful program, so it is baffling that they are now shutting it down after all the great successes that the coaches and athletes have had through this program. Mike Bloemker was my coach and he stepped down this season after learning the programs fate because it was just too hard to see it through during the programs final year. His wife Katherine who has helped him coach and is finishing out the season as the teams coach. Coach Bloemker shaped me as a runner, he showed me how to reach my potential and taught me to never ever give up, no matter what life or athletics threw at me. Coach Bloemker has had a great impact on many athletes and his successes deserved to be celebrated, not demolished. We are having a save the track walk on March 10th and even though a lot of people cannot make it, they are hoping that people showing their support by “attending” the event will help show the impact a program like this can have on athletes, coaches and communities. Please help us spread the word and share the story of our beloved program. Maybe together as a running community we can stop the growing trend of killing the sport we love in schools and Colleges. Thank you for listening, I have listed a few links below that might be helpful in sharing this program’s story. I have been a huge fan of the Letsrun community and all that you do to help keep our sport going.
If you want to try to save the program, check out the links below. There is a walk on March 10th to try to save the program and track.
The story even got a big feature on the Kansas City tv news.