HOUSTON, Dec. 21, 2020 – FasTrak Athletix (FTA) and the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) are sorry to announce that the inaugural FasTrak/NSAF Southern Indoor Challenge has been cancelled for 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The meet had been scheduled for Feb. 6-7 at the University of Houston’s Yeoman Fieldhouse, on the sizzling 200m banked track donated to and installed at UH in 2019.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to offer the inaugural FasTrak/NSAF Southern Challenge this season at our facility on the campus of UH,” said FasTrak Athletix General Manager Steve McBride. “The demand for this meet has been off the charts from athletes all across the nation – many of whom have had little or no opportunity to compete due to the pandemic. We wish the circumstances were different but unfortunately they are not.
“We are, however, already planning for the Southern Challenge the first weekend of February, 2022,” McBride added, “and it promises to be a spectacular event for all. A year goes by fast and we’ll look forward to seeing everybody then.”
The partnership with FasTrak Athletix and the NSAF was first announced this past August. McBride, FTA Managing Director Thor Jacobs, NSAF Executive Director Jim Spier, NSAF Director of Special Events Kristi Rieger and the staffs of both organizations had been working ever since to attempt to make the meet a reality. The UH Athletic Department, however, said in November that the Fieldhouse was not going to be available for meets until further notice. That status has not changed since and alternative plans which were discussed did not come to fruition.
Plans for the meet had included a full slate of high school and youth T&F events during the two-day competition, plus a special slate of open events for post-collegians. Other indoor meets in Texas and most surrounding states for high school and youth athletes have also been cancelled for 2021.
The NSAF had previously partnered with Messrs. Jacobs and McBride for the Dunamis Super Meet in Atlanta in 2018 and continues to look forward to extending its footprint into Texas and the Southwest region.
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/World Athletics (WA) 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/WA 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 Leroy Burrell and Athletic Director Chris Pezman.
The Yeoman Fieldhouse is a 90,000-square foot athletic complex located on the campus of the UH. FasTrak’s IAAF/WA-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.