Cal State Northridge officially opened its initial track and field season at the NCAA Division I level Saturday with a non-scoring meet at CSUN and an indoor invitational at Northern Arizona, but the school's track facility is in dire need of upgrading.
A tartan javelin runway needs to be installed. The high jump apron needs to be expanded and resurfaced, as do the infield runways and the track itself.
No piece of equipment, however, could improve the reputation of the Northridge program as much as a wind gauge. Although the device costs approximately $1,000, a pair of them would prove invaluable in promoting the Matador track program.
"We'd love to have our own gauges and timer, but we just can't afford them at the moment," Coach Don Strametz said.
Because Northridge does not own a reliable wind gauge, four Matador athletes failed to make Track & Field News' 1990 national top-50 list in various events because wind readings could not be produced for their top marks.
According to Northridge, Chris Perry and Lolita Pile set school records in the men's long jump (25 feet 10 1/4 inches) and the women's triple jump (42-3 1/2) last season, but those marks were not included in Track and Field News' lists. The same goes for Charlotte Vines (11.75 in the 100) and Kim Young (13.77 in the 100 low hurdles).
"We don't know what happened," Strametz said. "We called up (Track & Field News) and left a message, but we haven't heard back from them."
The problem, according to Track and Field News, stems from the fact that there were no wind readings from the meets in which the marks were set. One meet was a quadrangular at Cal State Los Angeles (there was no gauge present) in April, and the other was the Northridge Open in May.
In order for a mark to be acceptable for Track and Field News' lists in the 100 or 200 meters, straightaway hurdle races, or the long jump and triple jump, the wind reading must be 2.0 meters per second or less.
If there is no wind reading for a mark, then the mark is not officially recognized by Track & Field News, even if it were produced under windless conditions.
Northridge typically rents an Accutrack timer and a wind gauge for use in its home meets, but two gauges are needed because track events frequently take place simultaneously with field events.
Although a wind gauge was present at the Northridge Open, in which Perry, Pile and Young recorded their marks, it was for use in the sprint and hurdle races only, and it malfunctioned early in the meet.