ECSU revives track and field competitions

Kesha Williams
February 28, 2012


Athletic Director Thurlis Little says fall semester will spark the return of track and field competitions for ECSU.

The events will be divided into two seasons of indoor and outdoor sports. The outdoor events will begin in the Spring of 2013. Male and female teams will compete for the first time in years--- the last year the competitions were held was 1989. The spring events will extend from February until late April when the corresponding CIAA championships are held.

"It has been a desire of the institution to re-establish a track program for some time. Because of budget constraints and logistics there are still some things we have to do facility wise for us to bring track back to campus," Little said.

"Eventually we will redo the track facility-that's our long range plan. Any time you can include programs that include young male and female athletes performing at their physical best, it adds to the concept of the student athlete. This just gives athletes here a wider range of choices for participation."

Little said he is confident the university can benefit from a wealth of talent from North Carolina's high school programs as well as students who have transferred to the university.  The staff will consist of a head coach and one or two assistants. 

Little recalled the days when ECSU students competed under former coaches Dr. Leslye N. Stallworth, Samuel T. Holmes, and Dr. Claudie Mackey a current faculty member. 

"Over those years, we have had some outstanding track students. We have had hurdlers who were world renown and an Olympic prospect. Some earned top records in our conference and we are confident today's students can do the same," Little said.

While Little admits it is not a money-generating sport, he is confident these track and field events will contribute to the Viking Pride that already stems from other team sports. Fans can expect to find the action mostly on weekends. Competitions range from pole vaulting, high jumps, 100, 200 and 400 meter races to the shot put. Until updates are made on campus, Little said the teams will have a much appreciated relationship with public high schools that have a track on their campus.

Discussing the past events brought warm memories to Little who arrived on campus as a student in 1961. He threw the javelin and enjoyed related competitions for three years.

"These athletes must be self motivated and disciplined. In many of these events, the athlete performs without the aid of teammates so winning is reserved for the one who maintains the right routine, the right diet, and simply outshines the competition on Saturday. "