N. Central Sets Sights on College Baseball Series

By Stevens, Susan | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 31, 2000 | Go to article overview

N. Central Sets Sights on College Baseball Series


Stevens, Susan, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


While North Central College track and field athletes walked away with a share of the national title over the weekend, Naperville and DuPage County residents earned their own distinction.

The NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships proved that area residents will support a major sporting event, organizers said.

And NCC Athletic Director Walter Johnson already is thinking about the next one.

Johnson plans to put in a bid to host the 2002 NCAA Division III World Series in North Central's new $800,000 baseball stadium.

He's also pondering an international invitational track meet featuring the world's elite amateur athletes.

Johnson knows North Central can manage such an event because the college already has hosted nine Division III track championships, each bringing hundreds of athletes, coaches and fans to Naperville.

Now he knows what kind of turn-out a world-class track event would attract.

"What this championship told us was Naperville and DuPage County would support it," Johnson said. "That's something you never know with track and field, because it doesn't have the kind of acceptance in the U.S. as it does in Europe."

Fans crowded North Central's new Cardinal Stadium for the three- day college championships. Organizers estimate the event drew 4,000 people on Thursday, 3,500 on Friday and 5,000 on Saturday.

The college spent more time marketing the championships to the community this year, inserting brochures in park district mailings, hanging banners and posting signs in stores. …

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