COLLEGE STATION – The Reveille meet hosted by the Aggies at E.B. Cushing Stadium on Saturday, April 6, will be the first home outdoor meet on the Texas A&M campus since 2004. The day starts with a 10 a.m. dedication in front of Cushing Stadium.
Following the dedication of the $39.8 million venue, eight teams will compete in The Reveille, in which track finals start at 5 p.m. and field events begin at 12:30 p.m. Visiting schools include Arkansas (w), Baylor, Clemson, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech joining the Aggies in the first meet at the facility.
Among nationally ranked teams at this stage of the outdoor season, The Reveille men’s field includes No. 1 Texas Tech, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 11 Texas, and No. 13 Baylor while the women’s field includes No. 2 Arkansas, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 11 Texas, No. 18 Texas Tech, and No. 23 Baylor.
Features of the track and field area of E.B. Cushing Stadium include an IAAF certified Beynon track surface with wide turns. In addition to the nine-lane oval, there is a nine-lane sprint and hurdle runway inside the oval. Field events held inside the oval include high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump and shot put. The longer throwing events – discus, hammer and javelin – will utilize the Anderson Track and Field Complex that lays adjacent to the new facility and serves as a warm-up track.
“We have a full warm-up track and that changes the dynamic of everything,” stated Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry, who is in his 15th season with the Aggies. “It allows people to warm-up correctly and allows for the competition to be even better. It’s a wide turn on the track, one of the widest in the United States, which allows for a person running fast a little bit more transition and smoother run.
“The sprint lanes in the middle of the oval enable the fans watching to see the entire race in either the 100m or 110/100m hurdles. It will change how people usually watch those events. We will have great throwing areas for the discus, hammer and javelin in the next field over from the new complex, and they can be seen from the main stands along with seating between the new track and the warm-up track.”
The track surface in Cushing Stadium is by Beynon, which offers a specialized, high performance synthetic athletic surface designed for speed, competition, and daily training. The surface is resilient by formulation and the physical properties of the IAAF certified system don’t change as they are exposed to the elements.
In addition to having a fast track surface, another important factor in the Beynon track surface is athlete safety in regards to improved force reduction, enhanced feel under foot, and resiliency without sacrificing performance.
Another unique feature inside the track oval is multiple runway options for the pole vault.
“We did a lot of wind studies and the direction of the wind is important for a pole vaulter,” noted Henry. “So, we slanted the runways at an angle in addition to having the regular north-south runway. It will give us different opportunities to pole vault based on the wind conditions. I don’t think I’ve ever seen cock-eye runways in a regular competition site.”