Bloomington, Ind. - The Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the Indiana University campus plays host to the biggest meet in the state of Indiana this year from April 9-10 and the biggest meet on the Indiana University campus since the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The 2004 Indiana Relays are set to begin at 5 p.m. on April 9, making it the first event held under the new lights at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex. Action begins at 10 a.m. on April 10.
"It has been a vision of ours as we have traveled around the country and been to some of the premier meets that we could put on a showcase event for high school athletes in conjunction with college athletes," IU Director of Track and Field Randy Heisler said. "This will provide a great atmosphere and will feature many of the best athletes in both high school and college from the state of Indiana."
The 2004 Indiana Relays will pit the Hoosiers against Central Michigan, Southern Illinois and Indiana State in a scored meet and will also showcase some of the top high school talent from the state and give high school teams a chance to compete in advance at the site of the IHSAA Track and Field Championships, held June 5 at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
The rich tradition of Indiana track and field will be on display, as all of Indiana's 12 living Olympians will be invited to return to campus to be recognized as part of the meet. In addition, both the Haugh and Gladstein families will also be recognized as part of the event. The two families are the namesakes of Indiana's outdoor and indoor track facilities, respectively.
"We have gotten very good responses from our Olympians that they are interested in returning to IU for this event," Heisler said. "They have meant so much to the tradition of Indiana Track and Field and we all have a great appreciation for everything they have done. To get them involved will make this event even more special."
The Olympians expected to attend are:
Dr. Greg Bell - Long jump gold medalist in Melbourne 1956
Willie May - 120 yard hurdles silver medalist in Rome 1960
Sunder Nix - 1,600m relay gold medalist in Los Angeles 1984
Mark Deady - 1,500m run in Seoul 1988
Terry Brahm - 5,000m run in Seoul 1988
Albert Robinson - 4x100m relay in Seoul 1988
Robert Cannon - Triple jump in Seoul 1988
Dave Volz - Pole vault in Barcelona 1992
Bob Kennedy - 5,000m run in Barcelona 1992 and in Atlanta 1996
DeDee Nathan - Heptathlon in Sydney 2000
High School Teams Competing at the 2004 Indiana Relays
Boys Columbus North
Ft. Wayne Northrop
Girls Columbus North
Regarding The New Lights and Facility Upgrades at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex
The Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex receives a face lift for the 2004 Outdoor Track and Field season with new lights going up at the facility, with the main purpose of helping to grow interest in the sport of track and field.
The new lights will permit IU to host larger home meets, while also being in position to host NCAA Regional and National Track and Field Championships.
Part of this process also includes bringing the IHSAA Boys and Girls State Track and Field Championships to Bloomington. In fact, the IHSAA's first-ever state championship in any sport was in track and field 100 years ago with the event held in Bloomington, so the IHSAA is using the championship in Bloomington this year as a conclusion of the centennial celebration and the start of the second century of high school athletics.
The decision for lighting Hayes Track came in the Summer of 2003, with Steele-Beard Electric of Bloomington serving as the primary contractor for the $341,000 project. Work began in late January of 2004 with an overhaul of the lighting vault room handling both Hayes Track and Armstrong Stadium. The first pole went up during the week of March 15 and the majority of the poles should be up by March 27. There will be three poles (84 total lights) on the main sprint straightaway, two poles in each curve (11 total lights per curve) and two poles on the backstretch with 33 lights per pole.
In addition to the new lights, Indiana is also adding 3,000 temporary seats for this year in anticipation of roughly 12,000 fans in attendance for the two-day IHSAA meet. The facility has 3,200 permanent seats, with the temporary additions nearly doubling capacity.
Already considered as one of the top facilities in the nation prior to the lights going up, the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex served as the host site for the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the 2001 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships.