Florida A&M has reopened the home of its championship cross-country teams after a year.
The university officially reopened the Robert “Pete” Griffin Track on Thursday after nearly a million dollars worth of renovations.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the track, ” said Charlotte Griffin, the widow of the late Griffin. “I expect nothing but greatness now that the proper tools are being provided.”
Before the renovations, students used to complain about the bumps and kinks in the track but will no longer have to deal with those issues.
Sasha-Ann Lebert, a member of the women’s track team, said she is thrilled with the renovations and joyful to be back home.
“We used to drive all the way to Rickards (High School) for practice, which was cool after a while,” Lebert said. “But being back home gives me that drive to do well.”
Improvements to the track include a new and thicker rubber track surfaces, a new pole vault, a sand shot put landing area and upgraded restrooms.
Michael Smith, interim athletic director, said one of the goals for the new track is to host more meets.
“Because of the quality of the facilities, we are now able to host more events and create historic moments,” Smith said.
Smith said the new track is not only available for student-athletes, but also to the community and other students as well.
“I hope to see more members from the community and our students using the facilities, for we did this for them as well,” Smith said.
With high expectations, women’s head track and cross-country coach Darlene Moore said she will accept nothing but greatness from the women on her team due to the renovations.
“I’ve had a lot of agony and defeat on this track, but thanks to these renovations I expect nothing but wins, starting at the [FAMU] Relays,” Moore said.
At the closing of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, both Smith Interim President Larry Robinson joined a few of the women from the track team to run drills for the first time on the new track.
The first event to take place on the track will be the 63rd annual FAMU Relays on Saturday. The track will officially be made available to the public on Monday.