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To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Running into problems, let’s not backtrack

It’s no secret that the track facilities aren’t extremely up to date here. Just take a walk to the outdoor track where you can see it’s filled with small holes, uneven surfaces and two large strips where the track was ripped up. That’s just the beginning of the massive list of necessities that include newer and more equipment, the need for regulation facilities and better access to accommodate all track athletes. All of these problems are ongoing with not much changing throughout an average college student’s career. 

Starting with the problems that date back almost a decade, the outdoor track has been one of the most prevalent issues. It has been a point of contention dating back to six years ago where it was ripped up when the soccer field was redone. This caused an uneven surface that has some elevation gain and has led to some athletes tripping in some smaller potholes, resulting in injury. The track team is also generally fairly large, consisting of 30 to 40 athletes on just the sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws side. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough starting blocks to accommodate everyone at one practice with everyone together. This is problematic because although sharing blocks isn’t a hard task, starting blocks differ from person to person and it can be challenging and time consuming to change blocks when practicing starts each time. Not to mention the not-so-great quality of these blocks which can lead them to slip, increasing the chance for risk of injury as well as adding to the difficulty of practicing starts for competitions. Furthermore, the throws circle, which recently broke, has been fixed but adds to the growing list of problems for the throwers, as it creates a dangerous practicing environment. They already have to travel to another college campus to practice for outdoor throws, consisting of hammer and discus, due to the lack of outdoor throwing facilities at Brandeis.

As our indoor track and field conference meet approaches, which is being hosted here at Brandeis, and as more athletes are getting involved in advocating for better facilities, these prominent obstacles make it clear that our facilities need updating, and fast. Although we recently received new hurdles, which is a great addition and a much needed necessity, our throws cage is still not up to NCAA regulation. There are still many other things that the team is waiting on to help us perform to the best of our abilities. This sentiment is shared by both cross country and track as student-athletes have dealt with these poor facilities that can affect workouts, training and have even led to injuries.

It is clear to us track and field athletes that we as a whole are not high on the athletic department’s priority list as these ongoing problems continue with no solution in sight. Despite all of these continuing issues, the track and field team as a whole has continued to perform well throughout both seasons, yet there is an overwhelming feeling that the athletic department doesn’t prioritize us and does not listen to any of our concerns or complaints. This has been seen through the complete and utter lack of necessary practice pieces and equipment as well as a lack of recognition in other areas too, beyond material items. 

Recently, it has been announced that spring sports will be getting priority registration a day early as a pilot for the spring 2023 semester to help accommodate their busy schedules and make sure they can get to practice on time. Although this is a great and innovative idea that will benefit all sports in the future, it was soon realized that the track and field team was the only spring sport that wasn’t included in this early registration. On top of that, a couple winter sports that go partway into the spring semester have priority as well even though they aren’t officially spring sports.

 

Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief Victoria Morrongiello is one of the women’s cross country co-captains and did not contribute to this article.

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