Santa Clara University Adds Track Program

Dec. 10, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University has added intercollegiate outdoor men's and women's track and field effective for the upcoming 2005 spring season, announced Director of Athletics and Recreation Dan Coonan.

The Santa Clara track program will focus on middle and long distance events, with a primary emphasis on providing opportunities for Bronco student-athletes to qualify and compete for NCAA championships and maximize year-round training opportunities. The addition of track brings the total number of intercollegiate sports at the institution to 19.

"The addition of track ensures that our student-athletes who compete in middle and long distance events are provided the opportunity to compete for NCAA championship competition in the spring as well as the fall, thereby enhancing the credibility of our distance program," said Coonan. "In the past, we were often forced to turn away talented prospective student-athletes due to the fact that they could not compete in individual NCAA championship competition during the spring. Santa Clara will now be wonderful place for those student-athletes seeking to combine a top notch education with the ability to compete and train at the highest level year-round."

Institutions that sponsor track are required to compete in a minimum of six official competitions per season with at least 14 student-athletes. In the past, Santa Clara competed in various local and regional competitions as part of its non-traditional season and was limited to a maximum of five events during the spring season. However, because track was not an official sport at SCU, Bronco distance competitors were not eligible to qualify for NCAA championship competition, even if they registered a qualifying time.

"Not only are our current student-athletes excited about the addition of track to our distance program, we've received a very favorable response from our former runners and prospective student-athletes," said Head Men's and Women's Coach Tom Service. "We now have the flexibility to provide a true year-round training program that can maximize the potential of our runners. I can envision significant improvement in our overall distance program in the near future and, in particular, I believe our cross country program can continue to make strides toward becoming one of the best in the West region of the country."

Bronco track athletes are expected to compete in the following events: 800-meters, 1,500-meters, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters. In addition, Santa Clara could field 4x400-meter and other relay teams depending on the type of competition the team enters.

Qualifying standards fo rthe 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, scheduled for June 8-11 in Sacramento, Calif., are available online at www.ncaa.org. West Regional championships are scheduled for May 27-28 in Eugene, Ore.