Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lindenwood Athletes, Coach Excited about Their New Track

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lindenwood Athletes, Coach Excited about Their New Track

Article excerpt

The Lindenwood College track and field program finally has a place it can call home.

Coach Gary White called the new all-weather track, which was completed last fall, "nice, really nice."

"In the past, we'd have to send our athletes to St. Charles, St. Charles West and Fort Zumwalt South," White said. "And we had to split them up because we couldn't run people off their own track.

"The area high schools were really great about it, but let's face it, it's a lot nicer when all you have to do to practice is walk up the hill."

The track isn't completely finished - the winter weather hit before some of the jumping areas were completed - but White sees the new facility as a major plus for the school's track program.

"It's a beautiful facility," he said. "It's going to help our current runners improve and it's also going to help us in recruiting. Even though we're not able to host a full meet, we're hoping to find someone to come in this season for some sort of competition here. And next year, we have even bigger plans.

"If it can be worked out, I'd like to host a college meet and a high school meet on the same day. For example, we'd run the 100 meters for the high school kids and then come right back with the 100 meters for the college runners. It'd give the high school athletes a chance to see what college track and field is all about and it'd also be a great chance to show off our facility."

But those are plans for the future. For now, White and his athletes are working toward qualifying for the NAIA outdoor championships May 23-27 at Azuza Pacific (Calif.) University.

At the NAIA indoor championships last month at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the Lindenwood men placed 12th and the women 29th, combining for five All-America performances.

Donnie Dillard, a national champion in the 60-yard dash in 1994, placed fourth in the 200, fifth in the 55 dash and sixth in the long jump at nationals this year. Julian Smith, a sophomore from Hazelwood Central, was fourth in the triple jump, improving on a fifth-place finish as a freshman. …

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