Track problems throw ULV athletes off course
Posted May 16, 2008

Maintenance problems with the track surface in Ortmayer Stadium have kept the University of La Verne track and field teams from hosting home track meets this year.

“With all of the problems, it’s not conducive to having home meets,” head coach Pat Widolff said.

The problems arose after the track was resurfaced more than two years ago with a new top layer running surface. Large bubbles have popped up on the running surface since then.

“It’s been very disappointing,” Widolff said.

After attempts to voice his concerns, which were left unanswered by former athletic director Christopher Ragsdale, Widolff said he made the decision for his team to not host home events because he feels that the track can be a potential danger to athletes.

Ragsdale could not be reached for comment and interim athletic director Julie Kline said she had not been briefed on the issue.

“It’s frustrating,” senior pole vaulter Katrina McCoy said. “You’re not able to be provided for.”

McCoy said if the track was deemed adequate by Widolff and the team was able to compete on it, there may be more support if home meets were held at the University.

“Nobody comes to the meets,” McCoy said.

Robert Beebe, assistant director of facilities management, said the problem that is arising is the underlayment, which is the asphalt layer underneath the running surface.

As a result, the tar and rock are starting to separate, allowing moisture to come in and create the bubbles in isolated areas.

In order to fix the problem, everything would have to be taken out and re-done.

“To repair that would be extremely costly,” Beebe said.

Beebe said this repair would not be covered under the now-expired warranty by Atlas Track & Tennis, the company that did the resurfacing.

Beebe said the running surface is fine, and the bubbles can be repaired at any time.

“The bubbles are not coming up all over the place,” Beebe said.

The athletics department would call facilities and the company is called to come out and cut out the bubbles and patch up the area, Beebe said.

“It hurts recruiting,” Wildoff said.

Widolff said he understands the costly implications of repairing the track, and he said the team will continue to practice on the track but will not be hosting home meets in the near future.

“We still want to do it because we like it,” McCoy said. “It would be nice to have a little back up.”

Marilee Lorusso can be reached at

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