New track and field facility ready for spring competition

For the first time in over a decade, Southeastern’s campus will host a collegiate track meet. Head track coach Sean Brady said the multi-million dollar facility, which has been planned for several years, will replace the out dated track that stretches along the edge of the football field.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” said Brady. “I’ve been in pretty close contact with the actual track builder, which is Bynum Sports Services, and those guys work with LSU and a lot of other SEC schools. They’ve done hundreds of tracks. They are as pleased with this product as with any they have ever built.”

The new track will be home to several new features, including directional pole vaulting pits.

“Right now as it stands, the old track here is only a track,” said Brady. “We have one long jump/triple jump runway, and we have four at this new facility, which means there’s not going to be a line of 30 people standing there waiting to use it. We have the ability to do directional pole vault. We have room in the high jump area to do multiple high jump pits.”

Other features include multiple long jump pits and an eight-lane track, as compared to a five-lane track at the old track.

“The biggest feature is that we move from five lanes to eight lanes, which is now a NCAA and IAAF regulation facility,” said Brady. “So we can host a championship meet here.”

Brady and his coaching staff are excited about the new facility.

“From the organizational and administrational standpoint, it allows our coaches to be in one facility instead of being spread out all over campus,” said Brady. “Our throwing area is by the soccer field, our cross country training is in another place, and our track training is in another place. We don’t have throwing area inside, but in this facility you’ll be able to throw the javelin, the discus, and the shotput.”

It is undetermined whether or not the new facility will be open to the public.

“I hope so. I hope the public will be able to utilize that,” said Brady. “It’s still to be determined. That’s up to people who are a higher pay grade than me.”

Brady claims that before the track team can begin practice, the contractors need to finish up with the minor details. Still, the official opening date for the facility is in question.

“That is the million dollar question,” said Brady. “Our portion of the kinesiology building, the tennis, nursing, track project is complete. The track is actually physically complete and is ready to run and compete on, minus a few little equipment needs.”

Brady said both the men’s and women’s teams are fired up about the facility.

“We’re ready to go. Yet, we can’t move in until the whole project is finished,” said Brady. “The way it has been explained to me is that the contractor who is actually working on it, that is they’re space until their complete with their project.  Tennis is also finished, and we’re just sitting here waiting for those guys to move out.”

While the opening date has not yet been determined, Brady said the first home track meet in a decade will be held on April 20. Eight schools have confirmed, including Southern, Loyola of New Orleans, and conference rivals Sam Houston State and McNeese State, among others.

“It’s a first-class facility,” said Brady. “I would stack it up against anybody in the state, LSU included.”