TSU hits track

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Wednesday finally got here for the Troy State track and field program.

The university's new track facility, supposed to be finished by January, is finally open for use. The track and field team held its first practice there Wednesday, and its coach was ready for it.

"This was my most challenging year as a coach," Bob Lambert said.

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Since the destruction of the football stadium began last fall, the track and field team has not had a home course. The Atlantic Sun Championships begin in one week, so the Trojans will have to wait until next season to host a home meet.

In fact, the team has not even been able to practice on its own track.

"We have some freshman who have never practiced on a full track," Lambert said.

Not only could the team not practice on its own track, it also could not practice in one spot. The athletes involved in the tossing events (hammer, discus and javelin) practiced in one spot, the short-distance runners and pole vaulters practiced at another and the long-distance runners ran at Charles Henderson Middle School.

"We had them running around the goal posts over there," Lambert said.

Now, the team can practice at one spot, together and will not have to end practice when the football team wants to practice. Since the football team often practices in the stadium where the old track was, the two teams often had conflicting schedules.

The new facility is almost complete. The track is fully functional, the pole-vault pits are almost ready and the hammer and discus toss areas are almost complete.

The track is covered by a14-millimeter polyurethane surface. When the track wears down, it can be recovered easily.

"It will last about five years before we have to resurface it," Lambert said. "When they do that, they don't have to put the subsurface down again, they just have to smooth it out and put another layer on top."

Troy State will compete at South Alabama this weekend.