Oklahoma Christian University Track and Field has not experienced a home event in over 10 years. Due to an aging track and facilities that are not up to par the Eagles are simply unable to host collegiate track and field meets.
Head coach, Wade Miller, started coaching at Oklahoma Christian in 2010 and has yet to experience a home event.
“Our current track surface has many cracks that can cause injuries in training and racing,” Miller said.
This is far from the first season for the team to go without a home event.
“I would guess that (the last time) was sometime between 2008 and 2009,” Miller said.
There has been nearly a 13-year drought since the last time the track and field team experienced the same home support as many of the other sports teams experience regularly.
Fortunately, hope has appeared in the form of a fundraiser that could renovate the track and bring the possibility of hosting competitions once more.
“We would have the option of hosting a meet or two should we choose, and that is a great way to connect to the Oklahoma Christian community as well as ease our travel schedule,” Miller said.
Oklahoma Christian student and Track and field athlete, Gavin Banks, shares a similar opinion.
“A bright red new track would be more appealing to the community and to potential spectators, showing off OC colors,” Banks said.
On top of competitions, a new track would benefit practices.
“The biggest benefit our program will have from a new track facility is the ability to practice on campus,” Miller said. “The elimination of a commute to an off-campus track will add some time to our practice schedule as well as adding options for training and offer the ability to practice at times that work well with class schedules.”
A new track would mean a lot to athletes like sprinter Bryah Davis.
“It would fuel my dreams of being an Olympic athlete,” Davis said.
Banks believes the rewards would extend beyond those attending the university.
“I’ve had my home track replaced after years of wear and tear and it really does make a world of difference,” Banks said. “Not only to athletes running on the track, but also to pedestrians (and local high school teams) that enjoy the track as well.”
The hope is to complete the fundraising by the end of May. This would allow construction to begin shortly thereafter and, ideally, finish during the fall semester.
If all goes to plan, Oklahoma Christian can look forward to hosting and supporting meets once again very soon. The excitement and gratitude felt for the hope the future now holds is genuine.
“We are really excited about the possibility of a new track and what it would mean to our program,” Miller said. “We are especially thankful for everyone that is behind this effort. There are many people working diligently and many alumni and friends of the program that are making this a possibility.” If any readers want to contribute to the effort, click here.