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May 9, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The past, present and future of South Carolina track and field were on-hand Saturday afternoon, as the official ground breaking of the The Sheila and Morris Cregger Track Stadium was held at Weems Baskin Track. The ceremony marks the beginning of a project that will bring state-of-the-art upgrades to the track and field program’s indoor and outdoor facilities.

The new outdoor track and field oval will still be known as the Weems Baskin Track, in memory of the legendary former coach who served the program from 1949 to 1969. The current walkway that connects to the Carolina softball stadium will be extended out to bring all the facilities in the Athletics Village together.

“It’s overwhelming, I get emotional just thinking that it occurred,” head coach Curtis Frye said of the day’s events. “(Former Athletic Director) Mike McGee had a dream, he said we’ll build it and they’ll come. We probably got a little ahead of that – we actually won before we got it. It has come about because of two guys Mike McGee hired, Ray Tanner and myself. Ray Tanner is the reason Mike McGee’s dream came to fruition.”

Among those in attendance today were the Creggers, the family of Weems Baskin, and many proud alumni that included the 1974 national championship-winning 4×800 team of Don and John Brown, Jim Schaper and Mike Sheley, Bert Sorin and his family, Olympic silver medalist Charmaine Howell, and two-time silver medalist Terrence Trammell among many others. The current track and field student-athletes were also in attendance and were able to connect with their successful predecessors.

“This is the first time that I’ve been here in a couple years… but for me, this is the place where it all started, where the whole Olympic pursuit started,” said Trammell, who recently retired from an illustrious career on the track. “I look at these hurdles, and they might still be the hurdles I used when I was here. For me, personally, it’s hard to not come back to the origins of where such a career began.”

Construction on the track will begin this Summer, with major changes to the current indoor facility also in the works.