While it may have been another average week sports wise at Missouri Western — besides the fact baseball season is officially here, thank goodness — nothing much has changed, and that’s not a good thing.
While Western’s new track and field team has been killing it as of lately, they are still practicing inside of the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex. Now don’t get me wrong, the GISC is great place for athletes to train, but this team deserves the best possible facilities.
It’s obvious that these type of things are expensive, and takes a large amount of donated money. While some may question why didn’t Western build a track around the football field while it was being renovated, track athlete Julia Odir is confident that the athletic department will soon deliver.
“Tracks aren’t built overnight, but I’m sure in the near future that Western will have a track,” Odir said. “As of right now, we have a nice practice facility. Can’t complain at all.”
While Odir isn’t worried about her team’s lack of a track to practice on, I was very worried at the idea that nothing is being done about it. It was time for some answers.
Athletic Director Josh Looney says that the athletic department has built an indoor jumping pit for the team, and is turning the racquetball courts in the Looney Complex into an indoor throwing area. There is also a throwing cage being put in by Faraon Street.
“We have long-term plans for the track and for this team,” Looney said. “We’d built it tomorrow if we found a partner. I think it will ultimately take a community partnership here to build this track. It would make it better for our institution and our community to be able to use the track, especially for our student-athletes. It may take five years, but it is definitely a priority.”
What Western basically needs here is someone who is as passionate about track and field as Steven Craig is about football. A rich, track loving sugar daddy, so to speak. I applaud Craig’s passion, as the renovations to Spratt Stadium are very appealing. Do I wish the money being spent on the upcoming pavilion was being spent to build a track? Yes, but that is not my decision.
Hell, if things were up to me, this school would have a track and a wrestling program, but that program is a story for another column.
With the edition of a track, Western could be considered an athletic powerhouse in the MIAA.