Track & Field Complex

A Dream Field Fulfilled

Whenever a new athletic facility is being built the two-word adjective “world-class” is often overused and lacks the necessary evidence to support the claim. In the case of Rock Chalk Park, the running surface for the Jayhawk track and field program really is world class and Kansas Athletics will have the paperwork to prove it. Rock Chalk Park is recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as the fifth Class I Certified track on United States soil, and is one of only 105 in the entire world.

Rock Chalk Park joined Oregon, Auburn and Arkansas at the collegiate level, and the surface at Icahn Stadium in New York to rank among the nation’s elite track and field facilities. A coup in having a world-class facility like Rock Chalk Park has already been seen, as Kansas was selected to host its first NCAA West Preliminary regional meet May 26-28, 2016, which will feature the top-48 student-athletes in each event west of the Mississippi River.

“Our goal was to build one of the three or four highest-end competitive tracks in the nation – a world-class track that would allow KU to host not just state and regional competition, but national competition,” Zenger said. “This certification proves that we have accomplished our goals and now have a national championship team competing in a world-class facility.”

Kansas head track and field coach Stanley Redwine was also pleased with the news.

“I’m really excited about getting the Class I certification,” Redwine said. “That means that we’ll have one of the top tracks in the world. It will help draw athletes from around the country knowing that they are competing on an outstanding surface. They can come (to Lawrence) assured that they’re going to run fast times and have great performances at all our meets.”

Kansas Jayhawks

In order to be classified for IAAF Class I certification, Rock Chalk Park had to meet several tight tolerances:The cross slope of the main oval had to be less than 1.00%

  • The downward slope of the straightaway for the running events had to be less than 0.10%
  • The lengths of the 100m, 110m, and 200m events had to be within 0.010m of the proposed distance
  • The lengths of the 400m had to be within 0.030m of the proposed distance
  • Elevations and lengths for the report were measured to the nearest millimeter

The surface at Rock Chalk Park, installed by Beynon Sports Surfaces, underwent in-situ testing for the certification process.  The average depth of the running surface for IAAF Class I certification is 12 mm, while the average depth for Rock Chalk Park ranged from 16mm to 19mm.

“The BSS 2000 system installed at Rock Chalk Park will offer the ultimate edge in performance while providing a safe site for daily training,” John Beynon, founder of Beynon Sport. “A force-reduction layer, constructed with butyl rubber and polyurethane will allow athletes to take advantage of top level control and maximum energy return.”

Rock Chalk Park is a nine-lane 400-meter track with a seven-foot jogging lane on the outside of the track. The facility also sports a 436 foot (133m) six-lane warm-up straightaway located west of the track, which can also be used to run the 100m and the 110m hurdles.

The track and field stadium has 7,000 permanent seats, and the ability to bring in 3,000 temporary seats. In addition, there is approximately 90,000 square feet of locker rooms, offices, official rooms, training room and athletic training facilities located under the east stands.

The track at Rock Chalk Park is one of three Kansas Athletics facilities at the recently constructed Rock Chalk Park in northwest Lawrence, conveniently located near the conjunction of K-10 and I-70. Parking at Rock Chalk Park is free and located to the east of the main entrance.

Kansas Jayhawks

Driving Directions

FROM I-70:

  • Take I-70 to KS-10 exit #197
  • After the toll, head south on to KS-10/S Lawrence Trafficway and drive for approximately two miles
  • Take the US-40 ramp to Lawrence/Topeka
  • Turn left onto US-40 E/W 6th St and drive for approximately 0.5 miles.
  • Turn left onto George Williams Way and drive until Rock Chalk Park is visible on the left

From K10:

  • Take K-10 to US-40 ramp to Lawrence/ Topeka
  • Turn right onto US-40 E/W 6th St and drive for approximately 0.5 miles
  • Turn left onto George Williams Way and drive until Rock Chalk Park is visible on the left

Accessible Parking and Drop Off Area 
Accessible parking is available by the main ticket window (East side entrance of stadium complex, off of Rock Chalk Drive).  Display your state-issued accessible license plate or hangtag.  Limited mobility and/or wheelchair guests are permitted to be dropped off and picked up at this entrance should all available accessible parking spots be filled.