CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT's men's and women's indoor track and field teams will host the Art Farnham Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 12:00 p.m. The meet, which is being renamed to honor former cross country and track and field head coach Arthur "Art" E. Farnham, Jr., is the Engineers' first home event of the season.
Each year, at the end of January, the Cardinal and Gray host a meet which, up until this point, has been named the Coed Invitational. When asked why the name of the meet was being changed this year, head coach Halston Taylor explained the impact that Farnham had on the sport of track and field. "There is a long, rich history and tradition in men's track and field at MIT," he said. "Many of these traditions began with Art and, for that, I am very thankful. It is much easier to maintain tradition than to create it."
Farnham joined the staff in 1957 as an assistant to Oscar Hedlund, bringing a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to the team. Upon Hedlund's retirement the following year, Farnham succeeded him as head coach and, over the next 16 years, led the cross country and track and field teams to much success. Under his guidance, the cross country team was undefeated in 1967, won the IC4A College Division Championships in 1968 and finished in third place at the NCAA National College Division Championships. MIT's track and field team also improved under Farnham's leadership, posting 91 victories and breaking 22 school records during his tenure.
"It took some time, but he developed the team and got things moving in the right direction," Taylor said. "Art was very special to this program."