By Isaac Bourne, Sports Editor
November 9, 2023
Coming in Summer 2024, Ouachita Baptist University will have its own track and field facility next to Kluck Field, across from Cliff Harris Stadium.
The ever-growing cross country and track and field teams have made it a campus objective to welcome the new complex, with a record enrollment (1,815 students) at the school, also adding to what has been a long time coming for Ouachita.
Ouachita Baptist University President Dr. Ben Sells, in an interview with obutigers.com, gave his ideas on the new facility.
“Ouachita is experiencing significant institutional momentum, including increased enrollment, high graduation and placement rates and record giving, all as a distinctively Christian university,” said Sells. “We continue to attract growing numbers of outstanding students, including the student-athletes in our cross country and track and field programs. We’re very proud of how they have succeeded athletically, academically and personally.”
For the 2022-23 season, the women’s cross country team was the winner of its first Great American Conference Championship, with the men’s team in the running for the title as well. With a new track and field complex, improvement can only be certain.
Steve Guymon, head coach of OBU’s cross country and track and field teams is elated to have the new complex.
“A track complex is very important to our student-athletes, to give them a place to practice and call home,” Guymon said. “We’ll be able to host meets and bring other students here – junior high, high school [and] other colleges. In fact, we believe this venue will become a preferred location to host meets in south Arkansas and beyond. But, it’s not just for us. It’s also for all students, faculty and staff, as well as the Arkadelphia community.”
Overlooking the Ouachita River, the facility will be in the athletic complex part of campus and will go right along with the other amenities offered to student athletes.
“We’re going to be one of only about five colleges that I know of in the United States that will have a track and field complex and a cross country course right next to each other,” Guymon said. “That’s just not heard of, so I think the school and the town will be very proud of it.”