Perhaps there is no more pleasant a setting for a Northwest small-college track and field meet than the brick-red oval at Maxwell Field. Sandwiched neatly between the athletic complex, tennis courts and the baseball diamond, Linfield's track has a long and storied tradition that dates back over 100 years.
A.M. Brumback, football and gymnastics coach who later became college president, helped develop Linfield's first running track. Put into use in 1898, the track was primarily intended for use as a bicycle oval and surrounded the original football field adjacent to Pioneer Hall.
By 1922, the running track was given a new cinder surface, under the direction of Earl Druse, the team's top miler, captain and one-time coach. In 1928, the track was moved to its present location to make room for construction of Melrose Hall.
Long after relocation to Maxwell Field, the track was upgraded to modern asphalt rubber in 1972 by the J & K AsphaltCo. of McMinnville. The following spring, Maxwell Field and its new oval played host to the Northwest Conference meet, with the Wildcats winning the first in a string of four men's conference championships.
As part of a $1.4 million renovation, the track was completely torn up in the summer of 2004. It was replaced with an Olympic-shaped 400-meter oval that features softer curves than the previous track, orginally built to English standards. The old latex-based surface was upgraded to a longer-lasting polyurethane finish, increasing the lifespan from approximately six years to 10-12 years. The competition areas for shot put, discus, and javelin have been rebuilt or relocated, along with the long jump, high jump and pole vault pits and runways.
The Maxwell Field grass was replaced with state-of-the-art FieldTurf, lights were installed as well as perimeter fencing. A new electronic scoreboard and video display were erected on the south side.