Blugolds host first track and field meet in 15-years

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 8:37 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The UW-Eau Claire Track and Field team has won numerous national titles in the past 15-years, but one thing they haven’t done is host a home track and field meet. That all changed Friday with the Dick and Mary Johnson Invitational.

“Just an exciting day for for all of us. We have alumni that are here with us and it’s it’s there’s just so much energy.”

UW-Eau Claire alums Dick and Mary Johnson were intrumental in the renovations at Simpson Field the past few years, and are happy to be able to help the school that means so much to them.

“We owe a lot the university. Mary and I met our first weekend of school here. We’ve been together 46 years and I guess, it wouldn’t have happened had we not both been here at Eau Claire.”

The Johnson’s know how important having up to date facilites mean to the current student athletes at Eau Claire.

“We happened to love watching Cross Country and Track. We were involved in it. But it’s so important for the students to have a great place to come to and look at all the people who are here today supporting them. If there wasn’t a track, where can they come to support them?”

Kimera Way of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation is already seeing the benefits of the the renovations to Simpson Field.

“They said they couldn’t wait for the day because to have their friends come and watch them run, you know, their families will follow them anywhere. But to have their classmates and their friends and what have them said. Even one of our professors was coming to watch her run. That’s what makes the student experience all the better.”

Track and Field, Lacrosse and Soccer already use Simpson Field, and with the next phase, football will likely be next.

“We already have some really generous commitments to that. Our goal ambition says it is, is we would love to be able to be in a position to play football up here in 2025.”

And with today’s invitational, it’s hopefully the start of many more exciting events here at Simpson Field for years to come.