Nov. 10, 2004
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The running surface inside Yale's Coxe Cage will have a new look and more importantly a different feel when the Bulldogs return to New Haven from this winter's holiday break. The 76-year-old multi-purpose athletic facility will have a running track that is among the fastest in the East. The old, En-tout-cas surface is in the process of being replaced with a 200-meter, banked Mondo oval and infield, making the Cage one of the premier track & field venues in the nation.
Yale becomes the second Ivy League (Harvard) school to install a permanent raised track. Coxe Cage's version will be the same system used by the 168th Street Armory in New York City.
"We are extremely excited about the new Mondo track which will transform Coxe Cage," said Mark Young, Yale's Director of Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track & Field, who competed in Coxe Cage for four years as a Bulldog runner and has coached at the school for 24 years. "We will have eight full 4-foot lanes for both the sprints and hurdles for the first time ever. The banking of the turns will also be much more forgiving on the legs. We anticipate spectacular results both in practices and in our competitions. It will be a far cry from those thrilling dust eating days of yesteryear that so many of us experienced."
The new track, which should be in place by mid December, enables Eli athletes to train at a higher level, while the surface will attract more schools to Yale's invitational meets. The first meet the Bulldogs host on the Mondo track is the Jan. 15 Yale Invitational, while the dedication is slated for the Feb. 12 H-Y-P event.
The Cage was named for Charles Edmund Coxe (1893), a hammer thrower on Yale's squad. Legend has it that Coxe, who was charged with raising funds for the new facility, could not be bothered with such efforts and instead offered the necessary $300,000 to build the facility on the stipulation that it be named for him. Yale accepted the offer and began construction on what was then considered to be one of the largest structures of its kind in the world. Measuring over 356 feet long and 156 across, with a ceiling reaching almost 83 feet, the building encompasses over 3.3 million cubic feet of air space. To this day its 26,000 square foot skylight is among the largest anywhere.