Santa Clara to debut track team in spring


Mercury News

Santa Clara University has added outdoor men's and women's track, introducing a spring component to a program that had been limited to cross-country competition in the fall.

Athletic Director Dan Coonan said Saturday that the school will focus on middle- and long-distance running events and have a team in place in time to begin competing next spring. The addition raised to 19 the number of intercollegiate sports offered by Santa Clara.

Coonan said the addition would enhance the credibility of the track program. Previously, Santa Clara runners could qualify for the NCAA championships only in cross-country. Now, they'll also be able to compete for a berth in the spring NCAA track and field championships.

``We were starting to find that some recruits were considering other programs where they could compete in the fall and the spring,'' Coonan said. ``Our intent with this addition is to provide a more complete program for our distance runners.''

The head coach of the men's and women's cross-country team, Tom Service, also will coach the track squad. The school is limiting its spring program to running events ranging from 400 to 10,000 meters. In some circumstances, the school may also field a relay team.

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