Lack of facility negatively impacts track team
Quincy University, in the past few years, has had success with the track and field program. The program has produced a national champion in the 400m dash as well as multiple national qualifiers in different events. However, even with these statistics, QU is not a school that is equipped to support the sport.
QU is a part of the GLVC conference, a competitive midwest conference, where one of the former member schools even moved up to NCAA Division I. Some schools in the GLVC have dedicated indoor facilities like the University of Indianapolis.
QUs track related facilities consist of a walking track that is shared with the public. This track is considered a ‘walking track’ specifically because of its turns. The turns on the track are too sharp to sprint around without a negative impact on the body. So the majority of track practice is held on the rubber court underneath the walking track.
But this rubber court is also shared with the public, specifically the local pickle ball groups. Meaning that time on the rubber court is limited for the track team.
“For sprinters it is difficult for us to run. We can only do 10m and then slow down, because of this it causes a lot of injury. It also causes lack of readiness for meets. For hurdlers it is difficult for us to have efficient practices. It’s difficult to hurdle on the upstairs walk track, especially as it is open to the public,” DeAndre Cornwall, a hurdler, said.
Cornwall explained that sometimes people from the public do enter the area when practice is going on. Whether that be the select times when the walking track is used or when practice is held on the rubber courts. The public using the HFC sometimes leads to practice halting or there being potential accidents, like sprinters trying to avoid hitting people.
“For the jumpers we don’t have the up-to-date equipment or facilities, so we use mats. That still doesn’t give us the ability to jump as we see fit and jump to our potential,” Faith Haggard, a jumper, said.
There are certain events in track and field where facilities are truly necessary to practice for that event. Long jump, triple jump, and pole vault are some of the main events where the equipment and facilities at QU is inadequate. QU does not have enough poles for pole vault to support any potential pole vaulters who would wish to compete.
Lack of proper facilities has caused numerous injuries as well as damaged equipment. Using ingenuity for drills in regards to things like jumping sometimes result in mishaps.
Haggard explained that there was one practice where she split open her chin. She, along with the team, was using the rubber courts to practice. The court is not meant for track practice so there is not enough room to stop safely. The mats were too short to fully cushion her abrupt stop after quick sprint. Her head hit the uneven wall which split her chin open. Haggard had to go through concussion protocol because of the event.
Also, throwers often leave marks on the rubber court with their throwing drills. As the rubber courts are not meant to take the impact and skid of throwing implements.
“When I first came here I didn’t know we did not have a track. I thought Quincy had a track because there was a track team. So when I came here I was surprised there was no track! Even my school in Jamaica has a track,” Chadwick Stewart said.
Stewart is an international student on the track team who did not have the ability to visit campus before committing to the university. He explains that he did not think to ask if the school had a track because he assumed that QU did.
Multiple athletes on the track team, when committing to QU, assumed there was a track.