New Renovations, New Attitude

Melanie Gillespie



Kent State University has recently made renovations to compete with the best in the world.

Junior Andrew Carnes took notice of the importance and privilege this track has.

“The facility, we have the best track surface in the world. It’s the new Mondo surface. I believe this is the surface in Beijing, in the bird’s nest, for the ’08 Olympics. And I think we’re the first indoor facility in the nation to have it so it’s really cool. I like it a lot,” Carnes said.

The new track surface has been used in the summer Olympics since 1976 and is now home to Kent State’s track team.

The field house is in close competition with other top-notch facilities according to Coach Phil Rickaby

“It’s fantastic. It’s probably one of the best facilities I’ve been to in the nation. Just across the road, Akron has a fantastic facility modeled off ours. Obviously, this has been built a few years before Akron was, but the new facility we have is one of the best in the nations.”

The physical appearance of the track may not be the only benefit.

The runners’ mentality may also profit from running on the best surface in the world.

“I think outside the track surface, it just gives you a feeling, and just kind of knowing that you have those things. It just kind of raises the spirit and the motivation and you just feel really special you’re on one of the premiere tracks and it just raises the level of competition,” Carnes said.

Kent State spends nearly $18.7 million dollars on athletics.

The new track surface and lighting are just a few expenditures the athletic department has made this year and plan on suggesting a few more.

“There’s definitely a lot of stuff we’d like to do. Obviously we’d like to get the walls painted to spruce the place up a little bit. We’d like to get some kind of permanent seating in if we can. It’s good to have the bleacher seating in, but if we can get something that’s a little bit more permanent that’d be beneficial to spectators as well,” Rickaby said.

The new surface offers better traction for runners to improve grip and performance.

Some of those athletes are already seeing an improvement in their personal record (PR) such as sophomore, Andrew Linebarger.

“Yeah, big time. I’ve had a 2 foot PR in the triple jump and a foot PR in the long jump. So, those are pretty big.”

Members of the Track and Field team are looking forward to showing off the renovations while still protecting their home.

“We train here. We live here. It makes us want to protect our house,” Linebarger said.