UMO Athletics Department is on the Right Track

MOUNTOLIVEAtanygiventimeoftheday,youcanwanderaroundtheUniversityofMountOlivecampusandseethebaseballteampracticingonScarboroughField;thesoccerteamsrunningsprintsacrossAmonField;thevolleyballandbasketballteamsworkinghardinKornegayArena;orthetennisteamrallyingontheJohnNealWalkerTennisCentercourts。

Youmayalsonoticethetrackandfieldteamsprintingaroundcampusonanyrelativelyflatsurfacetheycanfind,oryoumightseethemtroopingontoabus,headingtopracticeatahighschoolanhouraway。

Despitetheirobviousdisadvantage,thetrackandfieldteamisatthetopofalmosteveryeventinwhichtheycompete。

Seemingly,theonlythingtheyhaven’tfoundisatracktocallhome。

Allthatmaybechanginginthenearfuturewithfundraisingeffortsforafuturetrackandfieldcomplexnowfirmlyunderway。

The“RealizingtheDream;SecuringtheFuture,”capitalcampaignatUMOaimstoraise$3milliontocompletetwodesignatedphasesofconstructionforthetrackandfieldcomplex。

Phaseonewillseeaneight-lane400metertrackconstructed,alongwithanartificialsurfacefieldwithintheboundariesofthetrack,aswellasareasforthrowsandjumps。

Phasetwowilltakethecomplextothenextlevel,addingstadiumseating,scoreboards,lockerrooms,afitnesscenterandmuchmore,transformingthefacilityintoahubforboththeschoolandthecommunity。

UMOAthleticDirectorJeffEisensays,“Thecomplexwillbecomeafocalpointofcampus,helpingtoattractandretainstudents,whilealsoallowingtheUniversitytobetterservethelocalcommunity。



OneofthestudentswhocouldbenefitfromanewtrackandfieldcomplexisrisingtrackstarChelseavanDijk,afreshmancriminaljusticemajor?

vanDijkisanoutstandingadditiontotheTrojantrackteam,andcametotheUnitedStatesafteranillustriousrunningcareerintheNetherlands。

InherfirstyearshehastakenhomeConferenceCarolinasmedalsinthe200m,400m,and400mrelay?

ShehasalsoearnedthetitleofSoutheastRegionIndoorTrackAthleteoftheYearfollowingtheTrojanssuccessfulConferenceCarolinasindoorchampionship。

AccordingtovanDijk,itishardnothavingatrackoftheirown?

“Emotionallyitisablow,”shesaid。

“Ourprogramisextremelysuccessful,takingchampionshipafterchampionship,andwearebreakingrecordsonanear-weeklybasis。

ButnooneattheUniversityhasbeenabletoseehowgoodtheteamreallyis。

Anyathletecanattestthatasupportivehomecrowdislikeanextraman?

Thecriesofencouragementinthedyingminutesofagameorasrunnersroundthefinalbendcanbethedifferencebetweenwinningandlosing。



HeadcoachMattvanLieropagrees,“Therearenumerousbenefitstoatrackcomplex,butthebiggestbenefitforthetrackandfieldteamswillbethattheywillfinallyhavea‘home。

’?

Theteamshavebeentrainingonthelocalroads,parks,campusgrounds,andatlocalhighschools?

Withanewcomplex,theywillbeabletotrainandcompetewithoutleavingcampus?

We’vecomealongwaywithoutatrack,andwecanadvancethisprogramtothenextlevelwiththeconstructionofthisfacility。



Theentirecampusandcommunityatlargecouldbenefitaswell?

“It’snotjusttrackathletesthatwouldbeabletousethetrack,”Eisenexplains。

“Otherteamswouldbeabletohavespeedandconditioningworkoutsinasafeenvironment。

Thefieldcouldalsobeusedasalacrosseorsoccergameorpracticevenue。

Havingatrackwouldalsogiveustheopportunitytohostmeetsandcommunityevents。



Thefoundationshavebeenbuiltbytheprogram,andthedreamhasbeenrealized。

Althoughthefutureisnotyetsecured,UMOisdefinitelyontherighttrack。

FormoreinformationabouthowtosupporttheUniversityofMountOliveTrackandFieldComplex,contactVicePresidentforInstitutionalAdvancementDr。

JohnBlackwellat?

jblackwell@moc。

edu?

orDirectorofAthleticsJeffEisenat?

jeisen@moc。

edu。

TheUniversityofMountOliveisaprivateinstitutionrootedintheliberalartstraditionwithdefiningChristianvalues。

TheUniversity,sponsoredbytheConventionofOriginalFreeWillBaptists,haslocationsinMountOlive,NewBern,Wilmington,SeymourJohnsonAirForceBase,ResearchTrianglePark,Washington,Jacksonville,andinSmithfieldatJohnstonCommunityCollege。

Formoreinformation,visit?

old。

umo。