Every Wednesday and Friday, Marist’s Division 1 Track and Field team files into the white vans parked outside the James J. McCann Center and heads 15 minutes down the road to Vassar College’s outdoor track. After completing its workout for the day, the team returns to its own campus, hoping to make it back in time for students with 2:00 classes.
By the time snow covers the ground in December and the team’s indoor track season commences, the process is repeated. However, this time, Marist College Track and Field travels 20 minutes away to SUNY New Paltz, to use the neighboring school’s indoor training facilities.
“Not having a track on campus makes it difficult to improve as a track athlete,” said sophomore Ericka Stewart, a sprinting member of the team, “especially when your only options to train on include an uneven field, a few hills on campus, and a narrow hallway with a rubber mat to simulate a track.”
Head coach of the Marist Track and Cross Country programs, Pete Colaizzo, agrees in that a track would help to enhance performance, as well as recruiting. “We currently do not have field event athletes, due mostly to the fact that competitive field event athletes are rebuffed at the idea of not having the ability to train for their events on our campus.”
Colaizzo believes an on-campus track will be beneficial for not only his team, but the Marist community at large, including employees who enjoy walking during work breaks.
Unfortunately for the team, as of now, this is not the case. Although the Marist coaches have lobbied in the past to receive an on-campus track for the team to run on, the program’s wish has not yet been granted.
Athletic Director Tim Murray gave no confirmation as to plans for a track on the Marist campus in the near future. However, he did say there is talk of a recreational (two-lane) track to be included in McCann, in addition to a new recreational center.
“We are in the very preliminary phases of starting the new expansion for the fitness center,” said Murray.
The potential recreational track, which would be included in the fitness center, would be used as a practice track only—not for competition.
In addition, Murray said the outdoor track is also in the very early phase of production. Should the track see its birth in the near future, the location would be the campus’ North Field, behind New Gartland Building A.
Despite preliminary plans and talk of the training facilities, Murray maintained that nothing is a definite. As of now, no time-line has been set, and the tracks “might not happen.”
Still, the Marist College Track and Field team remains hopeful—not allowing its limited training facilities to hinder performance to the best of its ability.
“We strive to maintain a competitive program with what we have,” said Colaizzo, “and we try never to use our lack of a facilities as an excuse or a reason not to be better — every practice, every meet, every day.”↑ Back to top