Oregon State Track And Field Luminaries Help Unveil New Facility
Sept. 14, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - On what many will describe as one of the most important days in Oregon State Track and Field history, the Beavers showed off the newest member of their program on Friday afternoon, officially unveiling the Whyte Track and Field Center to over 600 alumni, family, friends, student-athletes and proud members of Beaver Nation.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which opened with words of thanks from Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis, featured moving speeches from 1968 Olympic gold medalist and volunteer fundraising leader Dick Fosbury and principal donor and former student-athlete Jim Whyte.
Both, however, may have been outshined by the impassioned and eloquent remarks of current cross country and track and field student-athlete and unanimous team co-captain, Audrey Botti, who emphasized just how big of a day this was for the 40 women on the team.
Botti also had effusive praise for her head coach, Kelly Sullivan, who was hired in 2004 to resurrect the Beavers' dormant programs and has worked tirelessly to see this day come to fruition. Sullivan, who has helped connect so many Oregon State track and field alums back to their alma mater, received a sustained standing ovation from the crowd after taking the podium.
With the Oregon State band playing the fight song in the background, the program concluded with the official first lap and ribbon cutting for the new facility.
Sullivan's grassroots efforts to bring about this momentous day also saw the return of at least 23 former OSU All-Americans spanning from 1954 to the present day. In addition to Fosbury, Beaver Olympians who competed in the Games of 1964, 1984, 1988 and 1992 were able to make it back to Corvallis for the occasion.
Some other Oregon State greats who enjoyed not only the ribbon cutting, but also an alumni reception after were: Morgan Groth, Cindy Greiner, Gerry Church, Steve DeAutremont, Tim Fox, Tom Woods, Willie Turner, Dale Story, Darrell Horn, Joni Huntley, John Radetich, Laura Carlyle, Mark Fricker, Dan Fulton, Danny Likens, Norman Malone, Terry Thompson and Steve Pauly. Also, former head coaches Berny Wagner, Sam Bell, Chuck McNeil, Frank Morris and Pat Ingram helped celebrate the day.
The historic event signified another milestone in the rebirth of the OSU track and field program, the completion of the first phase of a three-part project to rebuild OSU track and field, which was reintroduced in 2005 after nearly a 17-year hiatus. The recently-completed first phase included an IAAF-certified Olympic-caliber surface, FieldTurf infield, nine-lane track, high jump aprons, long jump and triple jump runways, pole vault and javelin runways, shot put throw sectors and dual discus rings. The second phase includes a press box, scoreboard, hammer throw area, grandstands and entry plaza. The final phase would establish a $5 million endowment to support a men's team.
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