WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan — Track and field is one of the most popular events at the Olympics.
In 2021, 24 athletes competing this year in Tokyo got a running start at the Armory in Washington Heights.
It was originally built in 1911 as a place to house the New York Militia. It served as a shelter in the 1980s. In the 1990s, an indoor track was built.
It hosts more than 120 events during the indoor season from the fall to the spring.
Luis Peralta was a student at Passaic High School when he first competed at the facility.
As a student at the University of Oregon, he now has his sights set on the 2024 Olympics.
“You have to have discipline. It’s not just being fast. Some of my teammates are competing now. I hope they go out there and run their race,” he said as he walked around the track with PIX11 News Reporter Greg Mocker.
Students and professionals compete in all types of meets and the track is known as the fastest in the world.
Jonathan Schindel is Co-President of the Armory Foundation.
“There’s a large number of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut athletes that grew up on this track,” he says.
The foundation and facility also hosts an after-school program for students.