HOUSTON, Aug. 13, 2020 – The FasTrak Athletix (FTA) blazing 200m oval at the University of Houston (UH) will now be home to one of the nation’s most outstanding indoor track & field meets, thanks to a new partnership between FTA, UH, and the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF). The first FasTrak/NSAF Southern Indoor Challenge will be held February 6-7, 2021 at Yeoman Fieldhouse on the UH campus.
Current plans include a full program of high school and youth T&F events during the two-day competition, plus a special slate of open events for post-collegians. A complete schedule will be released in the weeks ahead. The two organizations hope to make this an annual event.
FasTrak Athletix Managing Director Thor Jacobs expressed his gratitude to all the parties involved in making this partnership a reality.
“The opportunity to partner with NSAF and put on this momentous track event began with an earlier partnership. It all started when Net Lease Capital, (a Boston-area real estate firm) donated their 200-meter banked track to the University of Houston. UH Athletic Director Chris Pezman and Head Coach Leroy Burrell made the decision to share the track with the university’s storied track & field program a very easy one.
“We are proud to be associated with such a world class university, a top-notch athletics organization and a bunch of first-class people. This same sentiment applies to NSAF. Thanks to these relationships, this is going to be one of the great indoor track and field events in the United States.”
“Partnering with NSAF for a youth and high school track meet on one of the fastest surfaces in the world is thrilling to contemplate,” said Steve McBride, General Manager of FasTrak Athletix. “Our track is one of only two IAAF certified tracks in the United States. Having something resembling an indoor track and field season for youth has always been a dream for athletes, coaches and parents in the state of Texas. The consummate professionalism of NSAF and their dedication to youth participation in track will bolster our efforts to see this dream come to fruition.”
The NSAF had previously partnered with Messrs. Jacobs and McBride for the Dunamis Super Meet in Atlanta in 2018. The Foundation is excited to renew that partnership and extend its footprint into Texas and the Southwest region.
“After our debut in Georgia and seeing the need in that part of the country, we thought we could again be successful or establish a foothold in other parts of the south where indoor track is not as prominent,” said NSAF Executive Director Jim Spier. “The setup that FasTrak has at UH reminds me of Texas A+M -- that is, first class. Texas is one of the top three leading track and field states (FL and CA the others) so it seemed like a natural fit.”
The track itself was built in Estonia at the home office of Valeri Bukreyev, the owner, engineer and designer of Kanstet LTD. Bukreyev is a two-time Estonian Olympic pole vaulter from the 1992 and 1996 Games. Kanstet has constructed many tracks for IAAF meets around the globe, including the 2006 Moscow World Indoor and 2017 Serbia European Indoor. The Yeoman Fieldhouse track venue is only the second such facility in the United States to be IAAF certified.
The track and its accessories, valued at $2 million, was donated to the University by the real estate concern of Net Lease Capital, by way of the philanthropy of its founders Doug Blough and Bruce MacDonald. Net Lease Capital through its subsidiary, FasTrak Athletix, signed a 10-year usage partnership with the University of Houston’s Department of Athletics and their renowned track and field organization under the leadership of Coach Burrell.
The Yeoman Fieldhouse is a 90,000-square foot athletic complex located on the campus of the UH. FasTrack’s IAAF-certified six-lane 200-meter banked oval also has an eight-lane straightaway for 60-meter hurdles and sprints. The track also includes two long-jump runways with sand pits, two pole vault runways with boxes and pits and room on both ends for simultaneous high jump competitions. The throws are contested on the floor area to the west of the oval.
CONTACT: Steve Underwood, Director of Media & Public Relations, NSAF
About FasTrak Athletix
FasTrak Athletix (FTA) is a sports management organization dedicated to providing running, jumping and throwing opportunities to athletes of all ages and skill levels. These goals are facilitated by way of partnership with the renowned University of Houston track and field organization. FTA is committed to maximizing athlete participation founded on the concepts of sportsmanship, community, fitness and fierce competition.
About the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, Inc.
The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) was founded in 1990. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of opening doors to the world for our youth, through athletics, and providing them opportunities to succeed. That includes supporting high school and junior-aged track and field athletes in the US through national high school competitions, including the NSAF Indoor and Outdoor Nationals; The Great American XC Festival and HBCU Challenge; and the American Javfest and Ironwood Throws Classic. It also includes Team NSAF international competition and team-building events in Cuba and Iceland; clinics and event-specific special projects, such as Project Javelin Gold and Project Triple Jump; vigorous grant programs, which enable high school athletes to compete around the country, at USATF Junior Nationals, and internationally; and with program development grants, which are awarded in the winter and fall each year. The NSAF provides approximately $250,000 in grants annually. For more information about the NSAF, please visit NationalScholastic.org.