GCU Launches Track and Field Program
By Zane Ewton
Grand Canyon University increased its intercollegiate athletics teams to 22 with the addition of men’s and women’s track and field in late December, and new coach Tom Flood is excited about the prospects.
Flood thinks GCU track and field will give current students an opportunity to compete and will quickly become an attractive option for local high school talent.
“We want student-athletes who are willing to work hard, have a great attitude and show up every day,” he says. “GCU is a great institution, and the good Lord will bless us with the students he wants for this campus.”
GCU now has more sports than any other intercollegiate athletics program in Arizona.
Flood is using this spring to give the University’s cross-country athletes an opportunity to continue training and compete. He also is recruiting for the 2010-11 season.
Flood’s assistant coach is Dr. Kim Sims, head coach of GCU’s cross-country program.
Next school year will kick off a full competition schedule, indoor and outdoor, for both the men’s and women’s track teams. GCU will compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), in which the Antelopes’ wrestling and swimming teams also compete because those sports are not offered by the Pacific West Conference, the primary conference for GCU.
Flood mentions Adams State as tough competition, but he is confident GCU can quickly become a force within the RMAC.
The inaugural season has started with a couple of non-scored competitions at Arizona State University, and it will continue through April with several local junior-college meets on the schedule for recruiting purposes.
The teams practice at Bourgade Catholic High School, just a few minutes from the GCU campus, and have received offers from other several local facilities willing to share their training facilities. Flood hopes to see an on-campus training facility in the near future.
Flood, a former track and football standout at Washington High School, competed in the long jump and triple jump at ASU. He also has worked with renowned sprint coach Bruce Frankie and his F.A.S.T. program. He coached at Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix before becoming an assistant coach at Colorado State University. While at CSU, he helped bring unprecedented success to the track program, including a 2002 men’s indoor conference championship. In his four seasons with CSU, he coached 11 conference champions and a two-time All-American.
He returned to Arizona to be near family and friends.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful institution,” Flood says. “GCU is an excellent place for students to get a Christian-based, quality education while competing at the NCAA intercollegiate level.”
He plans to assemble his teams when school reconvenes next semester. Fall conditioning will begin the second week of September and will conclude with a series of intrasquad meets before Christmas break.
“We got a really late start this year in the recruiting process, but we have some good recruits interested in our programs,” he says. “I believe Grand Canyon University is a wonderful local institution for those student-athletes who are looking for an intimate setting to get an outstanding education.”
Reach Zane Ewton at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 602.639.7086.