Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

    Track shortage the same old story

    Richard Bouckaert and Matt Cagial, two-thirds of Loyolas track team
    Tyler Kaufman
    Richard Bouckaert and Matt Cagial, two-thirds of Loyola’s track team

    There are three people on Loyola’s track team. And they are all male.

    There are no females on the team, which means for competitions in which female runners are needed, no one represents Loyola.

    Mass communication freshman Tyler Kaufman feels the effects of low participation on the track team.

    “No one’s running track; I have no running partner. It’s just a waste of talent,” he said.

    With three people on the team, Loyola can’t participate in track events like the shot-put, high-jump and relays. Relays require four runners, and because Loyola lacks the necessary number of runners, Loyola finds itself unable to compete.

    Head coach Al Seither said this is not the first time he’s had a difficult time with runners. During the fall semester, Seither’s cross-country team, lacking enough bodies, found itself one male runner and had a walk-on in the middle of the season.

    “Students tell me they are drowning in schoolwork or working jobs, and I understand that,” Seither said. “Many that ran in high school claim that they just don’t have interest to run in college.”

    Seither admits Loyola is not an “athletic college.” There are no facilities and a low fan base.

    “If more athletic scholarships were offered, we probably could good runners from high schools around the country,” Seither said.

    Cross-country team runner and mass communication junior Mary-Erin Imwalle has a different opinion.

    “The athletic department needs to be more aggressive when recruiting runners for both cross-country and track,” Erin said. “If there was more funding allocated to cross-country and track, it would make it more appealing to prospective runners.”

    Coach Seither said one cause of the low turnout might be because of Loyola’s competition.

    “We compete against Division I schools like LSU and Tulane. A lot of students feel intimidated by that. I just tell them they may be competing against someone that may go to the Olympics,” Seither said.

    “I welcome any suggestions. I am always looking for new ideas. Students can come talk to me or e-mail me. I use a lot of my own resources to get the word out,” Seither said. “I’m scheduling a meeting about cross-country and track later this month. This is close to my heart. I don’t want to see this put on the backburner.”

    Kaufman believes everything can be placed on the students.

    “We are here. We are always looking for good runners, and the word is out there. Loyola is just lazy. Lazy Loyola.”

    Jaune Jackson can be reached at [email protected].

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