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Parity seems to be the buzzword and action has been taken to make the Grizzly president’s salary equal to that of the Bobcat leader. So what about parity for the track and field program at the University of Montana? Montana State University showcases a fine indoor facility. They consistently host indoor meets, including the Big Sky Indoor Championships and other college, high school and masters meets.

The facilities for indoor track and field at UM is an embarrassment. The other Big Sky schools are far ahead of us also, while the problem here is continually ignored, and has been for years. Our “indoor track” (the Field House Annex) is shared with tennis, volleyball, basketball, trade shows and banquets. Track and field is affected more than other programs, because the runways have to be rolled up several times a week (sometimes daily) to accommodate other activities. Indoor field – and some sprint events – get three days of practice a week at the annex if they are lucky. Another private facility across town has to be used for distance and middle distance practice.

A good facility would help UM, the city of Missoula and local high schools in ways too numerous to mention. A school with the reputation of UM should be ashamed of itself for not addressing this problem years ago. Hopefully there is someone out there with the funding or the know-how to get this situation corrected, or at least get the ball rolling. The right people are here to make UM’s track and field program the jewel of the Big Sky Conference. Let’s give them that opportunity.

Frank Struna, St. Ignatius

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