Jack Christiansen Track gets an upgrade

The Jack Christiansen Track is undergoing an $2.4 million upgrade. Demolition of the facility began the week of June 12.

This marks the first planned upgrades for Jack Christiansen Track since 2008, when a press box and seats were added and the track was resurfaced.

The existing track is 28 years old and the track surface and asphalt base has deteriorated to the point that this project is necessary to be able to continue to host NCAA events.  The current schedule has the track facility back on line approximately Nov. 1, weather permitting.

A complete replacement of the track is among the expected upgrades for the Rams’ home facility. As part of that plan, the base below the track would be replaced, and a new, state-of-the-art track surface would be installed above it. Among the features of the planned track is that it would be installed such that sprints and hurdles could be run either on the east or west straightaways to take advantage of the wind. That, along with a planned design that includes wide-radius turns, would potentially improve distance, sprints and hurdles times.

In addition, the competition area for the high jump and javelin is expected to be expanded, enhancing competition in those respective events. The runways for the pole vault would also be replaced on the west side of Jack Christiansen Track. The runways for the long jump and triple jump are expected to be relocated to the east side of facility, allowing added space for each of the pole vault, long jump and triple jump.

The plans for the hammer and discus cage include a shift to the center of the facility’s north side as part of the upgrades to the field events area. The cage would be flanked by a pair of shot put throwing sectors, with one planned to be on each of the east and west sides of the cage.

The Rams’ home facility was named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen, who was one of the most decorated sprinters in early program history. Among other accomplishments, Christiansen previously set the program record in the 440 yards (47.6), a mark that stood for over two decades.