updated 1/26/2011 8:16:50 AM ET 2011-01-26T13:16:50

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Texas A&M University's Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium is the setting for this week's highly anticipated Texas A&M—Mondo Challenge. Track and field athletes from the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference will be vying for bragging rights at this interconference showdown, and they will be competing on one of the world's few hydraulic banked tracks.

Manufactured by Mondo, the global leader in the sports flooring market and the presenting sponsor of the Challenge, the state-of-the-art, six-lane, 200-meter track system features a Mondotrack surface and two curved track sections that can be banked for high-speed running events. A hydraulic system raises and lowers the running surface; the process can be completed in a few minutes.

The track can be set at any intermediate position between flat and fully raised, so it can be used for a wide range of events and by athletes with different skill levels. When the curved sections are lowered, the synthetic surface of the track is flush with the surrounding surfaces, so those surfaces can be used for other sports or activities. Mondo makes the world's only hydraulic banked 200-meter indoor competition track system.

Representing the Big 12 at the meet, which begins Friday, will be Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The SEC counters with Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

"We're proud to have such a great indoor track and field facility with a world-class track system from Mondo," said Pat Henry, head coach, Texas A&M track and field. "With such strong competition and a track that has proven to be very fast, I'm sure the athletes will post some outstanding times."

Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium also features an eight-lane Mondotrack straightaway, press boxes and permanent seating for 4,800. The $38 million facility, which was completed in December 2008, hosts intercollegiate athletic competitions as well as a wide variety of other sports activities and events. One of the largest indoor collegiate track and field facilities in the country, Gilliam will be home to the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in March.

Mondotrack builds upon the success of Mondo's world-renowned Super X Performance track, which has been the world's top track for more than 30 years and was the track of the eight Olympic Games prior to Beijing. Mondotrack was designed to provide optimal traction and a greater contact area than other tracks. It converts the maximum amount of force generated by athletes' foot strikes to energy for maximum energy return, which helps athletes achieve faster times compared to running on other surfaces. Mondotrack also provides excellent athletic comfort and maximum safety with the optimum blend of speed and comfort to accommodate both high competition and training venues. More than 230 world records have been set on Mondo tracks, including five at the 2008 Olympics.

About Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M Athletics is committed to building champions through academic achievement, athletic excellence and national recognition of student-athletes, teams and programs. Texas A&M's almost 650 student-athletes compete at the NCAA Division I in 20 varsity sports. The university's recreational sports program includes 30 student sport clubs and one of the largest intramural programs in the nation.

About Mondo

Mondo is the global leader in the sports and contract flooring markets, manufacturing flooring surfaces for virtually every application. More than 1,100 Mondo tracks and 800 Mondo artificial turf fields are installed worldwide. The official supplier of the athletic track for the past nine Olympic Games and the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, Mondo also is the official supplier or official sponsor of more than 100 sports federations and associations.

The company supplies a wide variety of commercial flooring, and it is the world's largest producer of sports and toy balls with an average daily production of 450,000 units. In addition, it manufactures large luxury yachts under its Mondo Marine division.

A family-owned business since its founding in 1948, Mondo sells its products in more than 196 countries. The company's global headquarters are in Italy, and it has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. More information about Mondo is available at www.mondoworldwide.com .   

The Mondo logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5765       

Mondo and Mondotrack are registered trademark of Mondo.

CONTACT: Glynis Gibson
         Gibson Communications, Inc.
         773.278.7700
         glynis.gibson@gibsoncommunications.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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