Over 20 years ago, men and women’s track and field ceased to exist at Oregon State. In 2004, women’s track and field and cross country were reinstated, and in more recent years even a few Beaver football players have made their place in the program. Without the proper facilities, these student athletes have been forced to practice at local high schools, bike paths, and intramural fields for workouts. But after the groundbreaking last June, the new track and field facility is beginning to take shape!
Kelly Sullivan, head coach of women’s track and field and cross country, has been charged with fully bringing back the track and field program to OSU. For the first time, he has been able to envision the final product:
I hadn’t been out there in a while…on that day, when we walked on what will be the backstretch, backwards, and I saw the first turn, with those nine lanes, each of them 40 inches wide, and I saw how spectacular it was going to be it was breathtaking.
This project will be happening in multiple phases as funding allows with the last two phases of the project being a $5 million endowment to reinstate the men’s track and field program and $1 million for a cross-country course. When this entire project was first announced in October 2007, funding was slow and this dream looked grim. However, some of the donors have stepped up and this dream is finally becoming a reality. With no definitive date for completion, OSU is set to host the 2014 Pac-12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hopefully by then, the track and field will have a name as well!
This is an exciting time for Beaver athletics and for Coach Sullivan, this will be the most challenging and rewarding chapter of his life
I look forward to that day when I can put my feet up, look at the track, and go ‘Wow. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.’…