It had been 18 years since track-and-field athletes last dug their spikes into the cinders on the University of New Hampshire's outdoor oval, but track came back to UNH last May when the Wildcats hosted the America East Championships on the brand new Reggie F. Atkins Track at Cowell Stadium. Reggie "Racetrack" Atkins '28 was the top quarter-miler on coach Paul Sweet's 1924 track team, and he wanted to see competition return to his alma mater. When he willed $6 million to the university, he specified that $750,000 should be used to build a track. Since then Wildcats from every decade have contributed. Sweet turned the first shovelful of earth for the new track on March 9, 2001, just three months before his death at age 100.
The $2.16 million facility features a 400-meter, synthetic-surface track, runways for the pole vault and jump pits for the long and the triple jump, a 3,000-meter steeplechase and space for throwing events.
The Wildcats put their new track-and-field facility to good use in the America East Championships. The women came in second and the men third. Amy DeCamp '01 won the 1,500 meters and was named Outstanding Track Performer by the conference coaches. The women's coaching staff of Casey Carroll '94 and Robert Hoppler was named the 2002 Outstanding Coaching Staff. ~
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