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Campaign Spotlight

Track and Field of Dreams:
a Priority of the Campaign for Mount Holyoke

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In October of 2007, Mount Holyoke debuted its new track and field facility, a priority of the $300 million Campaign for Mount Holyoke. Athletes and coaches are already reaping the bnefits of this new state of the art facility. Field and track coach Christine Lee said seeing her team practice has been "a dream."

“I can see so much momentum and energy,” Lee said. “We have a good, well-marked surface, and practicing is such an easy experience now."

The synthetic multipurpose turf field with lights is surrounded by an eight-lane track with a nine-lane straightaway; it is the first part of a new $5.9 million Department of Physical Education and Athletics facility. With the new track, Mount Holyoke will be able to host a meet for the first time since 1996 in April, Lee noted.

"This was much needed," said cross-country team member Kiri-Lin MacGregor '09. "I'm looking forward to seeing how this will help us reach our potential as a team. It's a great opportunity for the team and the College."

Natalie Martin '08, a member of both the cross-country and track teams, said the new facilities will be an asset in recruiting scholar-athletes to Mount Holyoke and in keeping current and future athletes in top shape.

"This will help in bringing the best athletes to Mount Holyoke. When they look at us in comparison to our peers, now our fields are the superior ones," she said. "The old tracks were worn and uneven, but running on the new tracks is decreasing injuries and wear and tear on our legs."

Expected to be used primarily for field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer, the synthetic turf field will serve a variety of purposes. The addition of lights is making it possible for teams to practice and play during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The synthetic turf will give Mount Holyoke teams a competitive advantage because it can be used for a longer season and in more inclement weather than a natural grass field. The complex replaced an existing practice field at the eastern end of the outdoor playing fields at Woodbridge Street, Silver Street, and Dunlap Place.

Mount Holyoke also added lights to an existing grass playing field and is working towards the renovation of another field to accommodate rugby. With the expanded and improved outdoor facilities, the College looks forward to hosting NCAA and NEWMAC competitions in the near future. Construction of the project began in late spring and is expected to be wrapped up in the coming weeks.

With the outdoor facilities now in the final stages of development, major improvements to the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex will soon begin. Last year, Mount Holyoke students, faculty, staff and alumnae used Kendall 101,169 times. Renovations will result in a state-of-the-art fitness facility to meet the complete fitness needs of the College community. A consolidated dance department with new practice studios will also be created.

The current dance practice studios will be converted into an exercise facility and new dance studios will be built contiguous to the current dance performance space on the south side of the complex. The new exercise facility will have a prime location on the main corridor as well as large windows, skylights, and glass walls to showcase the space. Also included in the renovation is an expanded lobby. The $7.6 million project will be constructed in stages due to the heavy usage of Kendall during the academic year.

A modernized boathouse for the crew team is the final piece of the athletic facility update. The boathouse will be built on the Connecticut River. It will provide space for the crew athletes as well as increased indoor storage space for the entire fleet. No timetable has been set for this $2.1 million project.

With 325 varsity athletes and 230 competitive club athletes, Mount Holyoke is committed to supporting its athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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Mount Holyoke Athletics

 

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