Incongruent design prevents home track & field meets


Joseph Zuloaga '23

The track’s unique rectangular feature gives each turn a sharper bend.

Cash Bolos '23, Staff Reporter

One of the grandest renovations in recent history at Riordan is the school’s field, named after the Mayer Family, finally finished in mid 2019. 

The field gives Riordan students the ability to practice many sports, from baseball to football, track and field, cross country, and soccer. Along with this, other teams can use it for conditioning and practices. Students can also play football and other games during lunch, and sometimes it is a venue for House Game events like soccer.

 With the past two years, activities have been more normal and sports have returned, leading students to begin to compete and practice like before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Riordan has had no home track and field meets since 2019. 

According to students who run track, the field is not constructed as needed; instead of being oval shaped, it is more square or circular, creating different start and finish points during races where they would start at one point and end at another meter ahead or behind. 

President Tim Reardon said, “Because our athletic field was designed to accommodate football, soccer, as well as baseball, the track that orbits the field runs longer than a standard track.”

He followed up with, “The only way to make it fit regulation would require us to eliminate the baseball field.” 

Reardon also said, “Since the original designers didn’t have the square footage for a separate football/soccer field and a baseball field, they chose to sacrifice the regulation track to allow more teams to use the field.”

Senior runner Luke Grogan said, “Our track is designed faultily. It is more of a rectangle shape than an oval, and it also is not leveled, meaning that it is uneven in some areas.” 

The only way to make it fit regulation would require us to eliminate the baseball field.

— President Tim Reardon

Coach Benny Willers ’08, who is a current cross country coach and former Riordan athlete said, “A standard track is 400 meters. This track is 405 meters and almost shaped like an octagon. The reason for this being that it was designed around a baseball field. Traditional tracks are usually designed primarily around football/soccer fields.”

In regards to home track meets, Grogan said, “During track season we aren’t able to hold any meets because of that fact.” 

Coach Willers said, “Because it’s not a standard sized track, many league reps don’t feel the need to hold league meets here.”

Reardon said, “I believe we can only use the straight aways during meets, which means that we cannot have a full meet on our campus.” 

And, “Lastly, is it different to run on because of the different curve and straight distances compared to a regulation track? Yes. That’s what prevents us from running the 400 and other such events.”

Grogan said, “It is definitely a bit different than standard regulation tracks that other schools may have. Sometimes going around the turn closest to the school you overstep because it feels like there is a sudden drop there. It definitely took some time to get used to.” 

Despite the irregularities with the track, the Track and Field Team has been successful in the past, with several runners qualifying for CCS, and they hope to have many more in this upcoming season, which began last week with the Cal All-Comers Meet.