FAYETTEVILLE – The NCAA Track and Field Committee awarded the 2008 and 2010 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships to the University of Arkansas in a Thursday afternoon teleconference.
Arkansas and the Randal Tyson Track Center have been the host of the championship since the 2000 indoor track season and is scheduled to host its eighth consecutive indoor meet, March 9 & 10, 2007. Only Detroit, Mich., (17) and Indianapolis, Ind., (11) have hosted more NCAA Indoor Track Championships than Fayetteville.
“Once again it is a great honor to be selected to host the NCAA Championships,” Arkansas women’s head track coach Lance Harter said. “When we gave this proposal to the NCAA committee we expressed our desire to make Fayetteville the permanent host of the NCAA Indoor Championships along the same lines as Omaha, Neb., and Oklahoma City, Okla., for the NCAA baseball and softball tournaments. The awarding of the bids today confirms that Fayetteville is the track capital of the United States.”
While Arkansas was not awarded the 2009 bid to host the indoor championships, that went to Texas A&M, the NCAA did give Fayetteville the NCAA outdoor championships for that year guaranteeing an NCAA Championship event through 2010, an impressive 11-year run. Arkansas is also slated to host the 2008 NCAA Mideast Regional Championship at John McDonnell Field, the newest facility on Arkansas’ campus.
Since Arkansas built the Randal Tyson Track Center in the winter of 2000, the facility has been the host of 13 major collegiate and professional track and field events. Two world records have been broken on the banked 200-meter oval including the 300-meter record in the winter of 2006 by former Razorback Wallace Spearmon. Along with the world marks, 23 NCAA Championship records have fallen as well as several country records and numerous seasonal world bests.
Part of what makes the Randal Tyson Track Center and Fayetteville so appealing to the NCAA is the fan support that has continued throughout Arkansas’ tenure as host. More than 10,000 fans have poured into the Tyson Center in each of the past seven years and in 2006, 5,596 fans cheered the competitors along on the second day of the NCAA Championships, the second largest single-day crowd in the building’s history. Harter and his staff are also quick to point out that the volunteer officials who assist with every Arkansas meet are also a vital part of the overall picture.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.