ASU track and field is back on track — literally

ASU renovations at Joe Selleh Track are complete

After two months of renovations for the Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium, the ASU track and field team is finally back at its usual practice facility, marking the end of months of inconvenience for the Sun Devils.

Being without a track for close to two months can have a negative effect on a team. Head Coach Greg Kraft said being without its usual track made training more difficult for the team.

“It’s problematic in that your training isn’t set up in a way you would like,” Kraft said. “When you have 45 kids that need the track consistently, it’s tough with their different class schedules and training.”

With the track now restored, as of Wednesday, the Sun Devils are back to complete team practices for the first time since the renovations began. 

With many new additions to the coaching staff, along with an updated and higher quality track to run on, there are numerous adjustments for the team.  Multiple athletes have already said they feel a difference running on a newer track, and for some of the team, it's a significant upgrade compared to recent practice conditions. 

While the track was being renovated, the athletes had to practice in many different locations. 

The pole vaulters practiced by the ASU tennis courts, then later started taking buses to Mesa Community College to use the track there. 

“We had one of our old raised wooden runways set up next to the tennis ball courts, and we jumped right there between the palm trees and the fencing, and it worked out pretty well for us,” Matthew Eckles, a redshirt sophomore pole vaulter, said. 

Come meet time, these athletes had inconsistencies in their runs — because they had been practicing on a wooden runway instead of an actual track. 

“It was less than ideal, but we worked with what we had,” Eckles said. 

While the pole vaulters practiced on the the tennis courts, other teams practiced in separate ASU facilities and at MCC. 

“Definitely having that down period was tough, especially having to go to different locations to practice, and not really getting as many reps as we have in the past during this time,” junior jumper Mason Ford said.

Having the track back returns the team to a routine that it hopes will help yield better results at meets.

The 100,000-square-foot renovation will be showcased for the first time on March 16 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational.  

“It was a needed renovation for sure, the track is extremely soft and won't wear on our bodies as much as it had in the past,” Ford said. “And on top of that, I just think it’s kind of that new feeling, you get a rejuvenated sense of your athletic ability.”

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