Dedication of FHSU track and field complex set for Saturday

track and field

HAYS, Kan. - Official dedication of the new track and field complex at Fort Hays State University is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.

The track inside the stadium will be named "Alex Francis Track," in honor of the legendary coach who guided the track and field and cross country programs at FHSU from 1946 until his retirement in 1980. The former track at Lewis Field Stadium was named after Coach Francis, and his legacy has been carried forward with the naming of Fort Hays State's current track.

The public is invited to the event, which will include a ribbon cutting by the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. The new facility, completed during the fall 2016 semester, is located south of the FHSU soccer complex on the far west side of campus, just off U.S. Highway 183 Bypass.

A 500-person stadium overlooks a nine-lane rubber Olympic-shaped track that already has helped produce a national champion for the Tigers. All field events will be held inside the stadium, with the exception of throwing events, which are behind the grandstand to the east.

Joining FHSU Athletic Director Curtis Hammeke in speaking at the dedication ceremony will be Dr. Andy Tompkins, interim president at Fort Hays State; Jason McCullough and Dennis Weber, current and former FHSU track coaches; and student-athlete Kelly Wycoff, a sprinter from Scott City.

McCullough, Weber and Wycoff have already benefitted from using the new facility.

McCullough, recently promoted from assistant to head track and field coach, is in charge of Tiger distance runners, who trained at the track and field complex last spring.

Two of McCullough's middle distance runners earned All-America honors at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Championships in May, including Ireland native Dean Cronin, who won the men's 800-meter run in his junior season.

Before retiring from coaching this summer, Weber was head coach for the Tiger track and field team for 12 years, including last spring, when FHSU had six All-Americans at the 2017 national outdoor meet.

Wycoff, now a senior in her last year with the Tigers, was one of those All-American runners, finishing 12th in the women's 400-meter dash.

The area around the complex also includes locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands.

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