Springfield, Mass. -- December 6, 2008 -- Springfield College hosted its first indoor track and field meet this afternoon at the new Field House on campus. Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn performed the honors (see photo) as the official starter for the women's 5,000 meters, the day's first running event. Never before had Springfield College hosted an indoor track and field meet in its 123-year history. Today's meet featured five teams and was non-scoring.
The teams included host Springfield College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Rhode Island College, Westfield State College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
"I could not be more pleased with the outcome," said Springfield Head Men's Coach Ken Klatka, who is now in his 33rd season at the helm. "This is a magnificent facility, and I heard nothing but compliments throughout the day. We invited teams that have been loyal and supportive of Springfield over the years, and those are the programs that we wanted to reward on this historic occasion. The great thing is that all the coaches want to come back."
"The coaches really loved the facility," echoed Springfield College Head Women's Coach Jim Pennington, now in his 26th year. "We heard such words and phrases as 'fast track, well-lit, and comfortable runs'. Overall, it was a great day in Springfield College track and field history."
Highlights for the host team on the women's side included junior Nikki Hay (Norwalk, Conn.) qualifying provisionally for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at Rose-Hulman, Indiana on March 13-14 in three events. Hay today finished first in the 55-meter dash (7.36 seconds, running a 7.25 in the preliminaries), first in the long jump (17-11 1/2), and first in the triple jump ((37-11 1/2), qualifying provisionally in all three. She also finished first in the 200 meter dash (26.48).
On the men's side, it was pretty much the same case for junior Steve Headley (Wilbraham, Mass.) who also qualified provisionally for the nationals in one event, the 55-meter dash (6.41 seconds),