OREM, Utah — A little more than 13 months after the ground-breaking for Utah Valley University's new Hal Wing Track & Field, student-athletes, faculty and staff celebrated the recently completed facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.
"Over 30 percent of our student-athletes participate in track and field," UVU President Matthew S. Holland said. "So if you think about something that we've needed for a long time that will also move our program forward, this is it. And the way we were able to do it is because of Hal and Brigitte Wing."
A significant donation from Hal Wing, the owner and CEO of Little Giant Ladder Systems, and his wife Brigitte's helped make the track facility possible.
"Because of this facility we will be forever indebted to Hal and Brigitte and their family for their generous contribution," UVU Director of Athletics Michael V. Jacobsen said. "Hal's main focus was how could he impact and benefit the student-athletes and he has done exactly that."
The track hosted its first college meet on April 1 with the UVU Collegiate Invitational — the first home meet in the 21-year history of UVU's track program.
"Our athletes are extremely excited to have a track and have the opportunity to have their very own facility," UVU head track and field coach Scott Houle said. "I have to thank the Wings, Jacobsen Construction and our administration for making this possible. We've already had over 2,000 athletes compete on this track and it will continue to make this program grow and over the years to come."
Already new school records in the 3000m, 5000m and women's discuss have been set at the new facility.
"All of us athletes have developed a lot of pride for this track because we haven't had a track in the past and now finally we can say that this is our track," UVU track and field athlete Tiera Zaugg-Hansen said. "Something that I've really noticed is how much pride Coach Houle has in it too because he worked so hard to get it here."
The men's and women's teams will shoot for their third straight conference titles when they host the Great West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Hal Wing Track & Field May 12-14.
"It's just so great to see how much this track has already affected so many different people and will continue to do so." Zaugg-Hansen added. "We've all heard so many great compliments from the people that have performed here. It's definitely showing that we are competitors now and that we will continue to get better and better athletes here because of this track."http://www.wolverinegreen.com/sports/c-track/spec-rel/042811aab.html