The University’s Director of Athletics, Dave Martin, announced that both indoor and outdoor men’s and women’s track and field will be offered as an intercollegiate sport in the 2017-18 academic year.
The teams will be competing against Catholic University, Elizabethtown College, Goucher College, Juniata College, Moravian College and Susquehanna University as members of the Landmark Conference. The men’s and women’s track teams bring the total number of varsity sports offered at The University to 21 and will be offered to both current and incoming students.
Track was first introduced at The University in the spring of 1918 when Athletic Director, Bill Moore, organized the first team. The original team was dubbed “The Running Tommies” because at the time The University was still named St. Thomas College. Cross-country was introduced to The University in 1947 and marked the end of the original St. Thomas College track and field team. Although this is a re-introduction of track and field to The University, it feels new to most because of the original team’s short history and long absence.
“With such strong interest in track and field locally, regionally and nationally. It makes sense to add these teams to our already successful athletics department,” said University President Rev. Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. Both Martin and Quinn hope that the addition of track and field in conjunction with The University’s excellent academic programs will entice students with a passion for both track and education to attend The University.
The addition of the track and field team has caused a lot of excitement across the student body. Many students competed in track and field in high school and are eager to welcome the sport to The University. Meredith Weist, a first-year student from Harrisburg, said, “I’m excited that track is starting at Scranton. I really missed being part of a team that enjoyed fitness and running as much as I do, but now I can have that again!”
Another first-year student interested in joining the team, Abigail Tirador from Bloomfield, NJ said “I can’t wait to do track again! I didn’t realize how much I would miss it after high school.”
The new track and field teams will be practicing and competing at local Scranton facilities. The athletic department is holding a national search for a full-time coach for the track and field program at The University.