The NCAA announced Wednesday that Indiana will host the NCAA East preliminary rounds for the Track & Field championships in 2011. Oregon will host the West regional. Both events will be held May 26-28, 2011.
It’s big news for Indiana, which last hosted an NCAA regional at Billy Hayes Track in 2005. The facility recently underwent a $1.5 million renovation with a new polyurethane surface. The new track received an IAAF Level 2 certification, which allows it to host most international meets.
“The directive from our athletic director was that we would improve our facility and continue to attract top level track and field meets,” Indiana track coach Ron Helmer said. “This opportunity is absolutely in line with what we envisioned when we planned the facility. That part of it is good. It validates the level of facility we have. Now a whole lot more people, half the United States track and field world, will get a chance to see it.”
To win the ability to host, Indiana had to submit a bid that not only discussed the facility itself, but the availability of the city as a whole to host the meet. It included information such as hotel room availability and local dining options. The top 48 athletes in the region in each event and the top 24 teams in each relay will be invited to the event, which means just fewer than 2,000 athletes.
“It’s a major undertaking,” Helmer said. “We’re going to have a lot of people coming to town.”