FIU selected as venue for 2013 Sun Belt Track and Field Championship

Beacon File Photo
Brandon Wise/ Sports Director
As part of its final year in the Sun Belt Conference, FIU is set to host the 2013 Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Championships – without a track on campus.The tournament will actually be held 22 miles up the turnpike at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar.

Beacon File Photo

“We don’t have a track at this time,” said Head Coach Eric Campbell in an interview with Student Media. “Our athletic department is working on building us a track, but until we actually get a home facility, we will be using the Ansin Sports Complex.”

Last season, the track and field team did their training at Tropical Park, located five miles off campus on Bird Road.

Campbell said the Ansin Sports Complex is one of the biggest facilities in the southeast and one of three certified tracks in the International Association of Athletics Federations.

In the Sun Belt Conference, only FIU and University of Arkansas at Little Rock do not have an on-campus facility for the school’s track and field programs. According to UALR Student Media, the school’s soccer-track and field complex is scheduled for completion in September 2012.

In fall 2011, Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment, Pete Garcia said to Student Media that “The long-range plan is to spin the soccer field from where it is now, from North-South to East-West .. That’s a long-range plan that’s going to cost millions of dollars.”

So far, no construction date is set, but according to both Garcia and Campbell, it will be combined with the soccer stadium for the three programs to share.

Campbell believes that not having a home facility has caused some issues for the team in terms of recruiting, but for the most part, his team has not suffered without a facility.

“It’s pretty difficult, but we sign some of Florida’s best talent out of high school without having a [home] facility,” Campbell said. “I really try to teach my staff that when we go out and talk to these young people, it’s not about the facility, but about the people and the relationships. We sell ourselves, we sell our personalities, we sell FIU as an institution and we get quite a few recruits.”

Without a home facility last year, the 4×100 relay team of Marissa McElveen, Lakeisha Kelley, Carla-Kay Mills and T’Keyah Dumoy qualified for the NCAA national championships in Des Moines, Iowa after posting a 45.05 at the East Regional in Jacksonville in May.

Nevertheless, Campbell is resilient.

“That’s something I try to preach to the kids,” Campbell said. “We are proud of the fact that we don’t have a facility and are able to go out and be nationally recognized. “We realize once we get a track, it’ll be hell to pay for some of these other schools“We don’t lose too many recruits as it is, but once we get a facility, it’ll be a wrap.”

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