After long wait, new track finally on the way

Next fall, Geneseo's outdoor track teams will finally set foot on a totally reconstructed running track.

Currently, the Francis Moench asphalt track is extremely outdated and contains several large holes around its exterior. The new track, which will cost approximately $1.2 million, will be designed by North Carolina-based Paige Design Group, which has worked on over 150 sports projects across the country.

In addition to a new eight-lane track and field, plans call for new bleachers, a fence, and facilities for javelin, shot put and other throwing events that will be outside of the track.

Construction will take place over the summer. Director of Facilities Jeffrey Kaplan said that weather permitting, the track should be completed by the start of the fall semester.

Outdoor track and field coach Mike Woods described the overhaul as "long overdue," and noted that Geneseo has not been able to host a meet for over 16 years because maintenance of the track was "non-existent."

"You could not find a track in worse shape than ours," Woods said. He said, however, that he believes Paige Design Group is an "outstanding company" that has made "some of the best tracks in the world."

Senior and women's sprinters' team captain Diana Snyder explained that because of the track's terrible condition, runners have been forced to train in the gym, the ice arena and even the stairs in Merritt Athletic Center.

"We've had to put up with running on a track with a surface that is awful for your legs and has potholes in it and grass growing through it," she said. The team has even trekked to nearby high schools in order to use their higher-quality tracks.

"The most disappointing thing was the lack of enthusiasm in the athletic department for reconstructing our track," said sophomore runner Dan Pollock. "We had to fight hard to reach the current proposal."

Detailed diagrams of the track can be viewed at the Facilities Planning Web site.