UWO should resurface the track

The athletic department needs to support one of their best teams historically

Joseph Hertel, Writer

UW Oshkosh athletics holds 32 NCAA Division III national championships and 112 trophies (the top four teams get trophies at nationals.) 

And if we add sports like women’s and men’s gymnastics that are not in the NCAA D-III, it would bring our total to 49 national championships and 129 trophies. 

The men’s and women’s track and field teams hold 20 of those D-III national championships and 60 trophies. And including cross country, the teams would have 28 national championships and 83 trophies. 

So I would say it is surprising that they don’t have an outdoor track to compete on, especially when you put into perspective that out of the 32 D-III national championships UWO athletics holds, the track and field and cross-country teams have gotten more than 85% of them. 

But because the UWO athletic department has repeatedly failed to resurface the outdoor track year after year, the UWO track and field team hasn’t hosted an outdoor track and field meet since the spring of 2014. 

And since the athletic department has decided to wait another year to resurface the track, there will not be a collegiate outdoor meet hosted by UWO for an entire decade. 

Now, tracks are expensive (some can even get up to half a million dollars), so you may be wondering if it would make any sense to spend that much money just to resurface a track for a good team. And I would say yes. 

We can look at UW-La Crosse, which during the two-day weekend of the WIAA state meet has an estimated impact on the town of $4 million and an average of 21,000 spectators annually in the past five years. 

UWO has a long history of athletic excellence with a significant number of national championships and trophies, particularly in track and field and cross-country. 

However, I would say it is disappointing to see that UWO athletic department has repeatedly failed to resurface the outdoor track, preventing the track and field team from hosting meets for several years. 

With the economic impact of hosting such events and the potential benefits to the university and community, it would make sense for the athletic department to invest in resurfacing the track. 

By doing this, the university could not only continue to support its athletes, but will also bring in revenue and create positive community relationships.