Track and Field athletes at UC Santa Barbara are making the best of a deteriorating facility as they gear up for the spring season.
Coaches say Eucalyptus tree roots are pushing up the track and creating big lumps in some of the lanes.
There are also visible cracks and areas worn away from overuse.
The conditions are unsafe and the team can no longer host home meets.
But, there is still a sense of Gaucho pride among the athletes and coaches.
“When we travel to bigger facilities like Stanford, and some of the PAC 12 schools, they get to see what is possible. But then they come back here and they take pride that this is their facility, regardless of its condition,” said Associate Head Coach Cody Fleming.
Despite the difficulties, the team is still competing at a high level.
Two weeks ago, the Men’s Cross Country Team won the Big West Title.
KEYT/KCOY/KKFX asked UCSB officials about the condition of the track and plans for an upgrade.
They released the following statement:
“UCSB students voted to repair the track as part of a student fee referendum, “Flip the Switch for Student Recreation.” That initiative resulted in funding for renovation of Rob Gym, resurfacing and lighting of Pauley Track and installation of two new all-weather turf fields with lighting. Rob Gym will be completed in January and the track project is just getting started. $2 million has been earmarked for the track resurfacing and lighting. We are hoping to begin a design-build project this summer, with tentative completion in 2016.”