Arizona State track's Sun Angel Stadium set to receive new halos
TEMPE, Ariz. - Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium, the home of Arizona State University's track and field program, is currently undergoing some changes as the 31 year-old facility is receiving an upgraded running surface from Mondo, the global leader in the sports flooring market, while alterations to the infield are also being made. Slated to be completed by the end of 2007 and well ahead of the start of the 2008 season, Sun Angel Stadium will feature the new Mondotrack FTX, making Joe Selleh Track the only venue in the world (prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games) to use the latest product.
"We are excited they are putting in the new Mondo surface that will be in Beijing," Head Coach Greg Kraft said. "Mondo comes in with a great reputation as being one of the great track builders in the world and that is why they have been the surface of the last eight Olympic Games. With ASU hosting the Pac-10 Championships this year, one of the top meets each year and one of the best meets in the world, I think you are going to see some very special times this spring at the Pac-10 meet. We are excited and the student-athletes are very excited to have these great upgrades to our facility."
"I think this is an absolutely exciting moment for the Arizona State University track and field program," Senior Associate Athletic Director Don Bocchi said. "As our program continues to advance, this is a major step in establishing Arizona State as one of the premier programs in the nation. We will be able to continue the rich history and tradition of Sun Devil track and field because of the addition of such a quality competition surface from Mondo."
The new Mondotrack FTX was designed to provide optimal traction and a greater contact area than other tracks. The result is superior athletic performance and energy return for faster times, along with excellent athletic comfort and maximum safety.
The official supplier of the athletic track and basketball and handball courts of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Mondo also is the official supplier or official sponsor of more than 100 sports federations and associations, including FIBA, IAAF, Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, NIRSA, U.S. Track Coaches Association and YMCA. The company has more than 1,000 tracks installed worldwide and 227 world records have been set on Mondo's tracks.
Renovations began in mid-October with the north end of the infield being dug up to make way for a new `D' zone. From there, the shot put ring was altered to allow for a second ring to be added. On October 30, cement was being poured to form the `D' zone as preparations continue for the removal of the old surface and the installation of the new.
"We were able to do some things with the infield configuration to take advantage of the prevailing winds in the discus throw," Kraft said of the north `D' zone. "Obviously, we take great pride in having a balanced program and are extremely strong in the throwing events and this will give them the chance to try and get marks that meet the `A' standard for the Olympic Games. We are excited for these changes and look forward to giving our student-athletes one of the top facilities in the nation to train and compete."
Home to the 2007 NCAA Women's Indoor and Outdoor Champions, Sun Angel Stadium opened for competition in 1976 and has seen its fair share of world-class athletes. The facility has hosted three Pac-10 Championship meets (1979, 1991 and 1999) and is the home of the Sun Angel Track Classic, annually one of the top collegiate meets. In all, Sun Angel Stadium has been the home venue for 21 Olympians and seven medals (five gold, one silver and one bronze), including recent gold medalists Dwight Phillips (2004, long jump) and Nick Hysong (2000, pole vault). On the collegiate level, the venue also has been the training home of 30 NCAA champions, including 27 individual titles and three relay crowns.