Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

New sports facilities provide new opportunities for student athletes

Dillion Baumchen
Construction on the new track is expected to be completed by Spring 2024.

As construction on sports facilities is underway, sports adapt in the present and look toward the future. Construction for the improvements, which include a new turf field, a new track and renovations to the lower weight room, began last spring. The turf field was finished on Aug. 17, and team practices began on the field on Aug. 19, just as the soccer season was starting. 

Soccer is not the only team benefiting from the new field. Members of the mens and women’s cross country teams have been able to utilize the soft turf of Zuidema Field for barefoot runs to help recover and prevent injuries, according to Nicole Kramer, head coach of the cross country team. Kramer said the team is “very fortunate with all the facilities that we have” and that the school is trying to “ramp those up in all areas of athletics.”

Ryan Souders, men’s soccer coach, believes the new facilities will help bring different sports teams closer and will be good for all programs.

“Once construction is done and the new sports complexes are finished it will bring a new holistic feeling to all sports programs,” Sounders said.

The outdoor track is yet another sports facility under construction. This new track complex ––  which includes new fields for the throwing events –– is being built in the Gainey Athletic Facility, next to the cross country course. The track surface is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, 2023. 

“Having the track be moved out there will be really nice for the program. It will allow the whole track team to be out there together,” Kramer said.

The construction on Gainey has blocked off a majority of the cross country course, but the team still has enough course to use for workouts and hosting smaller home meets. On Sept. 1, Calvin hosted the Diemer Classic alongside Hillsdale and Grand Rapids Community College despite reduced trails. The team will be hosting its second and larger home meet at South Christian High School on Sept. 30.

The new cross-country course, which is expected to be operational sometime in 2024, will also experience some changes as the new track will occupy some of the current course. 

“We will have a lot of fun designing a new and improved course. It will look different, I feel confident the new course is going to be set up in a new and improved way,” said Kramer.

The team is focused on making the course the best possible experience for both runners and fans watching and hopes the new course will be more accessible for spectators, according to Kramer.

Teams have also been able to utilize a newly “revamped” lower weight room, which will offer a “better experience and resources that are going to help all of our student athletes,” according to Kramer. 

“Long-term, it’s going to be worth it,” Kramer said. 

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