IUPUI to Add Outdoor Track & Field Beginning in 2011-2012
July 18, 2011
- Ed Holdaway
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The IUPUI Athletics Department and Director of Athletics Michael Moore have announced the Jaguars will be sponsoring men's and women's outdoor track & field, beginning with the 2011-12 campaign. The programs will be phased in incrementally with the immediate future of the teams relying primarily on the current cross country rosters to compete in the distance events.
The addition of two sports bring IUPUI's total to 16 varsity squads. Additionally, IUPUI will be immediately eligible to compete in The Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships next May in Fargo, N.D..
"It only makes sense for us to sponsor outdoor track and field," Moore said. "Our cross country student-athletes have already been competing in spring meets and we have a first-rate, well recognized facility located on our campus. Our recruiting base will be the Midwest with a particular focus on Indiana student-athletes. It's only logical that we take that next step and make it official."
Head Men's Cross Country Coach Chuck Koeppen will take the helm of the inaugural men's track program while new Head Women's Cross Country Coach Antonio McDaniel will also coach the women's track team. The on-campus Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium will serve as the home facility for the teams and is expected to be outfitted with field turf later this fall. Built in 1982, the facility seats more than 12,000 patrons and boasts an impressive scoreboard at the east end of the track.
The oval, 400-meter, eight-lane track is made up of a Mondo running surface and 48-inch lanes.
The Stadium hosted both the 2006 and 2007 USA Track & Field Championships, while having also hosted the IHSAA Lacrosse State Championships, the Horizon League Championships, the 2001 World Police and Fire Games, NCAA soccer & track competitions and other marquee events.
"Adding track is great for our university and athletics department. One of the key parts of our program will be that beautiful Mike Carroll Stadium on campus," Koeppen said. "That place has a lot of history and had a lot of high caliber runners race there. I know the guys are excited about it too and it showed with this past recruiting class. We're starting to get more and more really good kids here to IUPUI that want to win championships."
McDaniel echoed the same sentiments.
"Our girls are looking forward to running the track season," McDaniel said. "It won't be a major change for our girls, other than they'll be competing in The Summit League Championships. We're going to have the opportunity to build the program up quickly."
Both the men's and women's programs will participate in an abbreviated outdoor schedule this spring after having run five spring meets each of the past two seasons. The 2012 schedule will be released in the near future.
The addition of track & field marks IUPUI's first change to the sport offerings since baseball was discontinued in 2001.