Maryville athletics will gain a 14th varsity sport when men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field is reinstated beginning in the 2010-11 academic year.
“I am thrilled Maryville will be competing in both men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field,” said Tony Duckworth, Maryville University’s director of athletics. “This will allow our student-athletes the opportunity to compete in the 17 conference championships administered by the Great Lakes Valley Conference.”
Track and field was established as a varsity program in 2005-06 and was suspended in the spring of 2008 due to low participation.
“When the decision was made to suspend varsity track and field during the spring of 2008, the goal was to build a base of student-athletes through our cross country programs while offering club track and field,” continued Duckworth. “Coach Kaufman has done a tremendous job laying the foundation for cross country which will translate positively to our varsity track and field programs.”
Head coach Micky Kaufman also shares in Duckworth’s enthusiasm.
“I am very excited that the step has been taken to reinstate track and field as an NCAA varsity sport at Maryville University,” he said. “There is a good foundation of distance runners and throwers that have been developing in our cross country and track and field club programs over the past couple seasons. I am looking forward to the challenges of building a competitive well rounded team to compete in the very strong Great Lakes Valley Conference.”
The men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams will be coached by Kaufman, who also serves as the head men’s and women’s cross country teams. Kaufman has served in this role for the past two seasons.
Coach Kaufman has greatly increased the number of participants on both squads in his first season at the helm of both programs as the men’s squad took 37th and the women’s team took 40th place at the 2008 Midwest Regional Championships. Three members were named All-Conference in 2008, two on the women’s side and one on the men’s.
The men’s outdoor track and field program includes a two-time All-American, Gary Jones. Jones competed in the 800 meter run and took 6th in 1984 and 3rd in 1985.
“I am very excited for the track and field programs to return,” said Jones. “I know that the Athletics Department has been progressively growing to where we want to be so track and field can return. It is fun to see this progress.”
With the reinstatement of indoor and outdoor track and field, this brings the total number of varsity sports that Maryville sponsors to 17, including men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, men’s baseball and women’s softball and volleyball. Maryville is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
Maryville is currently in Candidacy Year Two of its three year reclassification process to NCAA Division II. The Saints will be eligible to compete in all 17 GLVC conference championships and NCAA Championships once they have been accepted for full membership in Division II.
Articles written by KatieJo Kuhens, Sports Information Director