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UAlbany Officially Breaks Ground On New Track And Field Facility

ALBANY, N.Y. -- On the ever-improving campus of the University at Albany Wednesday, the Great Danes officially broke ground on a brand new track and field venue that will allow the UAlbany Track and Field teams to host meets in the 2014 season.

“This is a very special day,” said Vice President of Athletic Administration and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lee McElroy. “The groundbreaking represents many things. It represents a commitment -- a commitment to excellence, tradition, team spirit, character, and engagement on the part of alumni and friends of the University.”

The new track and field venue will have a 9-lane IAAF certified track.  The surface will be the Olympic-caliber Beynon BSS 2000 that features a force reduction layer of butyl rubber and full-depth color Polyurethane. Other top track and field venues that have this surface include the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field and multiple national track and field champion Texas A & M. There will be a natural turf infield that will include a throws area as well as an irrigation system. The project also includes a separate hammer throw area adjacent to the venue. 

“It is going to help improve performance. We’re going to get quality workouts in on this facility,” said Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Roberto Vives, who is in his 28th season at UAlbany.

“We can host some major championships, which will bring a lot of excitement around track and field,” added Vives. “And it’s also going to help us on the recruiting front having a facility that recruits can look at and say ‘Wow, that’s a first class facility.’”

The venue, which will be used strictly for track and field activities, is the final part of UAlbany’s three-phase project. The first stage was the construction of the new multi-sport complex that will be home to the Great Dane football and soccer programs in the fall of 2013. The second phase was the creation of a synthetic turf field designed for year-round recreational, intramural and club sport activities, which is already in use on the south side of Dutch Quad. 

With the leadership of Vives, the UAlbany track and field/cross country programs have won 31 America East and three IC4A Championships since 2003, including a sweep of the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor America East championships this year.

“We have been a road team and have won numerous championships out on the road, so to have the opportunity to compete at home in front of roommates, fans, and family is going to be tremendous for our student-athletes,” said Vives.

The Great Danes will look to add to their collection of hardware this weekend when they compete at the ECAC and IC4A Championships on the campus of Princeton University.