Hydraulic Banked Mondo Track to Serve as Surface of Big 12-SEC-Pac-12 Showdown at Texas A&M - Mondo Challenge

Track Design Lets Athletes Safely Maintain Speed Around Curves

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When athletes take their marks for the highly anticipated Texas A&M – Mondo Challenge this weekend, they'll do so on a track that's designed to help them achieve their best times: a Mondo hydraulic banked track that is one of only a few such tracks in the world.

In the fourth annual Challenge, teams from three of the premier track and field conferences—the Big 12, SEC and Pac-12—will vie for bragging rights at Texas A&M University's Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

Manufactured by Mondo, the global leader in the sports flooring market and the presenting sponsor of the Challenge for the second consecutive year, Texas A&M's state-of-the-art, six-lane, 200-meter hydraulic banked track system features a Mondotrack surface and two curved track sections that can be banked for high-speed running events. This allows athletes to safely maintain their speed around the curves. A hydraulic system raises and lowers the running surface; the process can be completed in a few minutes.

Mondo's hydraulic banked tracks can be set at any position between flat and fully raised, so they can be used for a wide range of events and by athletes with different skill levels. When the curved sections are lowered, the track is flush with the surrounding surfaces for use 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 Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The SEC counters with Florida and Tennessee. The Pac-12 rounds out the field with squads from Arizona State and Oregon.

At the 2011 competition, 13 meet records were set while the Big 12 (Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech) defeated the SEC (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina) in both the men's and women's competitions.

"Mondo's hydraulic banked track helps competitors at the Texas A&M – Mondo Challenge safely sustain their speeds around the curves for optimal race times," said Federico Stroppiana, vice president, strategic development, Mondo Group. "With such a strong competitive field at this year's Challenge and a very fast track, we expect to see some outstanding performances and new meet records."

One of the largest indoor collegiate track and field facilities in the country, Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium also features an eight-lane Mondotrack straightaway, press boxes and permanent seating for 4,800. The $38 million facility, which opened in December 2008, hosts intercollegiate athletic competitions as well as a wide variety of other sports activities and events. Gilliam served as home to the NCAA Division I men's and women's indoor track and field championships last year.

The surface of the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Mondotrack provides excellent athletic comfort and maximum safety with the optimum blend of speed and comfort to accommodate both high-speed competition and training venues. More than 230 world records have been set on Mondo tracks, including five at the Beijing Olympics. 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 eight Olympic Games through 2004. 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.

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 level in 20 varsity sports.

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 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 mondoworldwide.com.

Mondo and Mondotrack are registered trademarks of Mondo.