FRESNO, Calif. - The second annual Run for the Dream held at the Save Mart Center consisted not only of three indoor track meets, but Fresno State Coach Bob Fraley led a dedication ceremony for Fred Arnold who donated $1 million dollars to have the indoor track built. Arnold donated the money for the track in memory of his wife Madeline.
"I started with track and field being an official," Arnold said. "My favorite event is the pole vault. My wife Madeline got into track and field a few years after I got into it and she liked it just as much as I did."
Arnold has known the Fraley's for years and wanted to donate the track to Fresno State because he has always felt at home here in Fresno.
"I knew Doug Fraley, Bob's son, ever since he was in high school," Arnold said. "Doug was always extremely nice and thanked the officials after a meet, that is how I first met him and his family."
Coach Fraley led the dedication ceremony with a personal statement about Fred and Madeline.
"It was because of her spirit and because of your spirit that this was made possible," Fraley said. "I remember Madeline for always telling me to sit down during a meet. She would always say, `Coach remember I am the one with the clipboard, I am running the show.'"
For the dedication ceremony, Rick Alanzo, a famous painter here in Fresno painted a portrait of Madeline Arnold. He began painting while Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" played for the crowd. He finished painting exactly when the song ended; it took him about 4-5 minutes. The portrait was given to Fred.
The first track meet to be held on the new track was a collegiate meet between Fresno State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal State Stanislaus, and the University of Hawaii.
"It's nice to be the first mile winner on the new track," Fresno State runner, Roxanne Sellick said. "The track feels very different. When I saw the base I didn't think it was going to be runable, but then I started running on it and it wasn't so bad once we got our speed."
The second was a high school championship meet. There were boys and girls running for Northern, Southern and Central California. The final meet is the first Visa Series championship meets this year, USA versus the World. This series brings world-class athletes to Fresno.
Running for the USA, a former Bulldog, Angela Dagle-Bowen returned to Fresno with high hopes.
"It feels wonderful coming back to Fresno because when I came to school here, they didn't have any of this, and it was still a small program." Dagle-Bowen said. "I was really impressed with the track, it was really nice."
Overall the day was full of gratitude and excitement for the new track and the meets. "The main thing was seeing the track built and seeing the Fred and Madeline Arnold Memorial Track writing on it really pleased me," Arnold said. "It will bring a lot to Fresno State Track and Field."