TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – By next spring, Indiana State University’s track and field teams will be competing on its own state-of-the-art track complex. The hope is this same venue will bring national competitions to Terre Haute.
Indiana State’s Marks Field has hosted track and field events since its construction in 1966. Remodeled in 1992, its blue track is iconic, but it’s also bordered by streets, so it can no longer be expanded. That’s why ISU is building a new state-of-the-art Max Gibson Track and Field Complex next to the former ICON facility on North First Street.
“This property opened up. The university bought it several years ago, and then it’s been a planning process since,” said ISU Track Coach John McNichols.
This track will be 9 lanes wide. Each lane will be 48 inches wide, which is a runner’s dream. But the best part is the surface is going to be state of the art polyurethane. This track’s gonna be fast! And yes, the track will be blue!
More importantly, designers of the Gibson Track Complex dreamed big. Much like the cross country complex that bears the same name, the dream for this track and field complex is to one day bring national events to Terre Haute.
“We have two meets planned already,” said McNichols. “We’re getting good response from the teams we’ve invited. So i think for the first time in several years Terre Haute will be privileged to host division one competition.”
“We have the setting to host a national championship.”
This facility will also be a part of the city’s Riverscape project, as a pedestrian trail will be located between the track and the river. It’s also a success story in the sense the city and ISU will bring this type of a venue to a former Brownfield site.
“It’s about making the town a very vibrant town, an outdoor exercise-oriented type community,” said Pat Martin of city engineering.
Construction will be wrapped by this fall, as ISU will host a pair of meets this coming spring here at the Gibson Track and Field Complex. And hopefully soon, Terre Haute will be “off and running” hosting more NCAA events.
Coach McNichols says the track complex has already benefitted the ISU track program even before its construction. He says it’s been a nice talking point on his recruiting visits. Down the road, this facility will also be home to ISU soccer.