After years of using the Brady Street Stadium, St. Ambrose finally has a stadium to call home. The stadium includes a full-sized track and field facilities. The new stadium will be shared with the local Catholic high school Assumption.
Senior, and first-year physical therapy student, Megan Jansett, usually runs the 400 meter sprint for the St. Ambrose Women’s track team. This is Jansett’s, and the rest of the St. Ambrose track teams, first time practicing on an outdoor track as a group.
“Practicing on an outdoor track allows sprinters to reach top speed without worrying about the sharp curve of an indoor track. This will hopefully lead to less stress injuries and greater speed endurance heading into indoor season. I am excited to be able to finally host outdoor meets, too,” Jansett said.
Two-hundred meter tracks have shorter curves which can slow down runners, especially in shorter running events. The new outdoor track has farther curves which can help athletes to gain and maintain speed more efficiently.
St. Ambrose recently built a new indoor center with a 200 meter indoor track, half the size of an outdoor track, that was completed in 2018. Freshman that joined the track team this year, in 2021, will be the first class to have the indoor and outdoor facilities. For freshman Colleen Klostermann, the outdoor track allows for more opportunities.
“I’m excited to see where the season goes on the track especially since we are able to use it now in preseason. Running on an outdoor track is way more fun because there is more space to support all the different events. The new track will provide an easier way for people to go support athletes,” Klostermann said.
Last season, the St. Ambrose track team had to prohibit spectators due to Covid-19 restrictions. Outdoor limitations have continued to be less strict than indoor constraints, so the outdoor track provides more opportunities for spectators to watch track meets. St. Ambrose plans to host an outdoor track meet sometime this season.
With the introduction of an outdoor track comes new field facilities. Next to the track there are new long and triple jump pits, a pole vault runway and throwing circles. Tara Ryan, a junior on the St. Ambrose track team, pole vaults for the team.
“I’m really excited to have a new outdoor track, because of how the pole vault runway is set up. Also, I think it will be great being able to have home outdoor meets,” Ryan said.
In previous years, many of the athletes ran or did field events outside for the first time at meets. Being able to practice in outdoor elements helps the track athletes prepare to compete outdoors. Seating for the stadium has not yet been completed, but, once seating has been finished, the stadium will be able to hold 3,000 to 3,500 spectators.
The St. Ambrose track team is currently breaking in the new track as they prepare for the indoor track season. The Bees’ first meet will be December 4th, at home on the indoor track.