Well I really didn’t realize it until I started posting these Big Ten tracks, but I have already covered most of them last summer in my Team USA series. So today’s track is the final one already. I wish I could say I saved the best for last, but based on the other tracks in the conference, the Gophers‘ home track is hardly the best. In fact, most would say Bierman Track is probably in the worst shape of them all, which is unfortunate. I went to grad school at the University of Minnesota. Before that I interned with the Strength & conditioning program. Several former students of mine competed and still compete for the Golden Gophers. They are in serious need of an upgrade here.
The last time I raced on this track was in 1987. It was in really bad shape then. The all-weather surface was worn down, right through to the asphalt below, in several spots in lane #1. A couple of years later though, the track was resurfaced and was the host site for track & field at the 1990 US Olympic Festival. I’ll never forget seeing Jackie Joyner-Kersee jumping at that meet. I watched the 1995 Big Ten meet here, which they also hosted in 2003. The last time they hosted a meet at Bierman was in 2009. They deserve better. The track & field programs at the U of M have been extremely successful, winning multiple team and individual title in the past few years. They have a great, old indoor track, that I still love racing on. They deserve a nice outdoor track too. The Gophers are scheduled to host the 2015 Big Ten meet, but unless a major renovation get approved, that meet will have to move elsewhere. Hopefully that won’t happen, but things have been pretty quiet as far I have heard (or haven’t heard) Ski-U-Mah!
Links to my other posted Big Ten tracks: Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin (Northwestern does not compete in track & field) Rutgers and Maryland will be joining the conference in 2014.