updated 3/15/2011 7:16:16 AM ET 2011-03-15T11:16:16

BATON ROUGE, La., March 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The NCAA outdoor track and field season is still a couple of weeks away, but with a recently installed, state-of-the-art track, Louisiana State University's Bernie Moore Track Stadium will be ready when it arrives.

The historic, 5,680-seat facility—recognized as one of the finest track venues in the nation—now features a new Mondotrack, the official track of the 2012 London Olympics. Mondotrack is manufactured by Mondo, the global leader in the sports flooring market.

"Coaching elite and Olympic-caliber athletes, we felt it would be a huge advantage for them to train on the same surface that will be used at the next Olympic Games," said Dennis Shaver, head coach of LSU's track and field team. "The track surface makes a tremendous difference for elite athletes training in the sprint events and developing rhythms for hurdles, so I am convinced Mondotrack is the right product for us."

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 for both competition and training. More than 230 world records have been set on Mondo tracks, including five at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"When you research recent NCAA, world and Olympic records, the majority were accomplished on Mondo tracks," Shaver said. "I believe the record-breaking performances are directly related to the research and development Mondo puts into its products and the emphasis the company places on producing tracks that reduce the force absorbed by athletes' bodies."

LSU's new track replaces a 10-year-old polyurethane surface and 30-plus-year-old subsurface, according to Shaver. Among the most important requirements for the replacement track were that it stand up to Baton Rouge's underground water tables and could withstand challenging soil conditions below the track brought on by the stadium's location near the Mississippi River. "With Mondo, we were working with a company willing to listen and understand the specific conditions of our venue," Shaver said. " Mondo was very much involved in the process of preparing and testing the subsurface prior to installing the Mondotrack."

The Mondotrack surface covers a nine-lane oval, nine straightaway lanes in the track infield area, and three jump/vault runways. The track was laid in late 2010; the final touches, including lane stripes, were applied earlier this month.

Mondo 's highly durable flooring products aren't new to LSU's athletic department: Mondo Sport Impact flooring is installed in the football weight room and a secondary weight room, and the track and field office hallway features Mondo Advance flooring. "We were very familiar with Mondo," Shaver said. "It's a company that has never changed hands throughout its 60-plus years in business. We just had a good feeling about working with such a solid company, and the one that produces the leading track surface for international championship events."

About Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University is an internationally recognized university in undergraduate and graduate academics, research and community engagement, listed by U.S. News and World Report among the nation's 25 Most Popular Universities.

LSU sponsors a broad spectrum of intercollegiate sports programs for men and women, with nine men's sports and 11 women's sports that participate in NCAA competition. LSU has one of the most successful athletic programs in the nation, and annually competes for conference, regional and national championships in most varsity sports. Tiger sports teams have won 43 national championships in nine different sports and have claimed 109 Southeastern Conference titles. Notable student-athletes have included Billy Cannon (football), Pete Maravich and Shaquille O'Neal (men's basketball), Seimone Augustus (women's basketball), Glenn "Slats" Hardin (1936 Olympic gold medalist – 400-meter hurdles), Richard Thompson (2008 Olympic silver medalist – 100 meters) and Lolo Jones (2008 and 2010 world indoor gold medalist – 60-meter hurdles).

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 is a registered trademark of Mondo.

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

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