On Track: Athletes deserve a track


PHOTO// Chris Donseraux

Chris Donsereaux, Opinions Editor

Piedmont University is home to various sports teams, each of which spend their season striving towards a common goal: a championship title. If all of the university’s teams are competing for a conference title during the season, then why are people complaining about the track team? 

The truth is that the Track & Field team does not have the facilities that the other teams on campus are provided with. Sports like baseball, softball, tennis, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and soccer all have the facilities they need right on campus; the track & field team relies on the local middle and high schools for facilities to practice on. As a member of this team for the last four years, I anticipated better from the institution. 

As I recall from my visit, the coach at the time, Jeff Jenkins, told my father and me, “A contract to build a track here on campus is in the works.” 

It’s been four years, and still no track, while the men’s and women’s track teams continue to bring home hardware every year representing a school that doesn’t care about the track & field team. I feel for other sports on campus that face these same struggles, like swim and golf, which also don’t have on-campus facilities. The golf teams are provided access to a virtual training room downstairs in the Johnny Mize Athletic Center and the swim team utilizes the Tallulah Falls Center for practice and swim meets. 

“Hosting meets at our home track would be awesome. Being able to have a big home crowd would make it even more fun,” says senior mid-distance runner Connor Creedon.

In recent seasons other teams outside of track & field have started to compete for conference titles and NCAA appearances, despite this, it still doesn’t compare to the accomplishments that the track & field team brings to the table. 

“It’s unfair that a group of athletes that work just as hard and have some of the most successful seasons in Piedmont athletics doesn’t have their own space to practice,” says senior mid-distance runner Jacob Balot. “We work very hard and deserve to have a track or some area that is dedicated to improving our skills.” 

Many athletes feel this way, but there is only so much we can do as student-athletes here on campus. As Piedmont University continues to expand and grow, I hope they pay attention to the needs of all athletes and not just select sports.

On Track is a recurring sports column by Chris Donsereaux, a junior sports communications major and member of the Piedmont track and Field team.