Earl F. Morris Track

Earl F. Morris Track

Quick Facts

Built: 1923
Dedicated: Oct. 2, 1993
Resurfaced 1993, 2005
Surface: Recotan
Lights: Yes
Lanes: Eight
Length: 400 meters/Quarter mile
Cross Country Home Course:
 John Bryan State Park
3790 State Route 370
Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387


About This Facility

Earl F. Morris Track, circling Edwards-Maurer Field, provides a top notch site for the Wittenberg men's and women's track & field and cross country teams.

Originally located on its current site in 1923 with the construction of Wittenberg Stadium, the track has served the university for generations. The facility currently sports a state-of-the-art, NCAA-regulation Recotan surface, installed in 2005. The track is one-quarter mile or 400 meters in length with a full compliment of eight lanes along with starter lanes on the north and south ends. Field events train at throwing areas on the practice field, adjacent to the stadium, and on jump and vault lanes within the stadium.

The track sees year-round use by the Wittenberg and Springfield-area communities as a personal recreation and high school and AAU competition site.

Accessibility: Earl F. Morris Track and Edwards-Maurer Field are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, and the Athletics staff is happy to make accomodations for interested patrons. The stadium features wheelchair seating at the top of the stands, and both the north and south gates are accessible via wheelchair.

John Bryan State Park
Wittenberg runners competing at John Bryan State Park

Cross Country

When the cross country teams host a meet, they head to John Bryan State Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Southwest Ohio. The expansive park, located in nearby Yellow Springs, Ohio, has hosted the conference championship meets and invitational events over the years.

Featuring a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River and designated as a national natural landmark, John Bryan State Park is a picture-perfect race site. Visit the John Bryan State Park website here.

In recent years, the Tigers have also hosted meets and conducted practice sessions at historic locations in Springfield, including nearby Snyder Park and the Clark County Fairgrounds. Distance runners at Wittenberg also make regular use of picturesque North Fountain Avenue and Ferncliff Cemetery and Arboretum, which is located just west of campus and includes more than 70 acres. More than 100 different varieties of trees can be found in Ferncliff Cemetery and Arboretum.

Earl F. Morris

Wittenberg's track facility made a leap forward in 1993 when the 1/5-mile cinder track, which had not hosted a home meet since 1982 but served generations of Wittenberg student-athletes, was replaced by an all-weather, NCAA-regulation Granutan track. The new track was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Dr. Earl F. Morris, Wittenberg class of 1930.

Morris served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Wittenberg College from 1973 to 1984, but made his biggest mark outside the bounds of the university. He served as a longtime trustee and volunteer for The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC), and was a founding partner of the Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur law firm in Columbus.

Several scholarships are awarded each year in his name by the OFIC to students pursuing a law degree at any member institution, including Wittenberg.


The original cinder track at Wittenberg Stadium.
The original cinder track at Wittenberg stadium served the Tigers for 70 years.

A state-of-the-art, all-weather Recotan surface was installed at Earl F. Morris Track in 2005, concurrent with the installation of Prestige by AstroTurf artificial turf at Edwards-Maurer Field. The new surface ensured increased safety and comfort for the track & field athletes.

Until that time, a Granutan surface installed in 1993 as part of the Bill Edwards Drive Project, served the teams faithfully. It was at that time that the facility was dedicated as Earl F. Morris Track. Over time, weather and wear took effect, necessitating the resurfacing in 2005.

The original cinder track at Wittenberg Stadium.

Field events were held alongside the original cinder track at Wittenberg Stadium.

The installation of the new track in 1993 represented a giant leap forward for the track & field programs at Wittenberg, replacing a non-regulation, 1/5-mile cinder track which had been in place since the opening of Wittenberg Stadium in 1923.

The new track allowed the teams to again host home meets, which they had not done since 1982, when the NCAA formalized regulations for suitable competition sites.

Over the years, the cross country teams have practiced on nearly every outdoor surface surrounding and within the campus. Meets have been held at various locations such as the Springfield Masonic Community and Snyder Park.

Track & field was among the first varsity, intercollegiate sports sponsored at Wittenberg, beginning in the early 1900s. Where the teams practiced and competed in those early years is not clear, though it is likely that, like other Wittenberg teams of the era, track & field utilized nearby athletic fields such as the facilities at the old Springfield YMCA on Stanton Ave., now a residential area.

John Strawn '07