The next time you show up ready to run on a flat un-banked 200 meter indoor track looking for a personal best or NCAA Qualifier, think again.
In the article Where Did The NCAA Qualifiers Come From? (a look at the effect of different tracks) on Track and Field News, they reported:
There were 22 venues which produced qualifying marks.
- Arkansas (Tyson banked) â€“ 62 qualifiers (23%)
- Ames, IA (oversize) â€“ 47 qualifiers (18%)
- Washington (Dempsey oversize) â€“ 46 qualifiers (18%)
- Notre Dame (oversize) â€“ 39 qualifiers (15%)
- Armory (NY – banked) â€“ 17 qualifiers (6.4%)
- Boston University (banked) â€“ 10 qualifiers (3.7%)
- All others together/16 venues â€“ 44 qualifiers (16%)
7% of the qualifiers were turned in on flat, 200m tracks
93% of the entries came from oversize 307m or 400m tracks, or banked tracks.
With that in mind, I don’t know why they still build flat tracks. Some are built for basketball and volleyball which includes the paying spectators.
I spoke to an Athletic Director who wishes to remain anonymous, and he quoted the main reason why they build flat tracks is for the purpose of holding final exams in December and April.
Yes, that means they close the oval track during the critical 3 weeks in December. And you wonder why these athletes resort to warm weather training camps.
The irony is my personal best for 200m indoors was held on a flat 200m track at Dartmouth College, NH, despite living an hour away from the 22 degree banked track in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The reason is the Canadian College system contests the 60m, 300m and 600m, whereas the American system runs the 60m, 200m, and 400m.
Sadly, that 22 degree banked track in Sherbrooke no longer exists, in favour for a flat 200 meter track. I wonder if they hold final exams in the gymnasium?