By Michael Armijo
Walnut – Mt. San Antonio College’s new incoming stadium was chosen for the 2020 U.S. Olympic track and field trials, making this event an Olympic site for the first time in Southern California since 1984 when the games were held at the Coliseum. The Walnut stadium was chosen in an 11-2 vote by the USA Track and Field’s board of directors for the Mt. SAC proposal.
Mt. Sac’s Hilmer Lodge Stadium is no stranger to such an event as the women’s Olympic trials were held there in 1968. Twenty world records have been set at Hilmer Lodge Stadium, the annual site for the annual Mt. Sac Relays for the last 60 years. The stadium is under renovations and is scheduled to reopen in 2019 with an expanded seating capacity of 21,000 captacity. The trials, scheduled for Jun 19-28, 2020, will select US track and field delegation for the Tokyo Games.
“We honored to be chosen over such prestigious institutions,” said Mt. Sac Board Member, David Hall in a phone interview Thursday morning. “Our long heritage, very successful trials in past years, the many records set at the college, and the new state of the art facility, are great factors for their choice.”
“I’m very proud of the team that helped bring this to fruition, and excited by the challenge” said Doug Todd, Director of Track and Cross Country for Mt. Sac told OurWeeklyNews.com. “We are excited by the challenge and anxious to finalize the last few details for the organization to get the planning started.” Todd is the “meet manager” and Bob Seagrem, a former Olympic Gold Medalist, will be the chairperson of the committee.
The last three U.S. Olympic track and field trials were held at Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Ore., the city known as Track Town for its pervasive running culture. The 2000 and 2004 trials were held at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento. Attendance was robust in both cities and both made bids for the 2020 trials. Los Angeles, once the home of many professional track and field meets, hasn’t supported the sport at the pro level in recent years, leaving the Mt. SAC Relays the area’s most prestigious competition, according to the LA Times.
“Our team is cohesive and our historical success are just many factors Mt. Sac is a great choice for this event,” David Hall concluded. “We are looking forward to another successful event.”