By: Matthias Baudinet
Though Green Mountain College is not a division 1 school with a huge surge of athletes coming through its gates every fall, the athletic spirit here at Green Mountain is strong and genuine. With already 12 competitive NCAA Division 3 Varsity sports offered through the athletic department, in March of 2014 the athletic department announced that it would add men’s and women’s track & field to that list of varsity sports.
The new sport will be in season during the spring semester. Not only will this addition bumped GMC offered sports to 13, but Green Mountain College will also join fellow rivals Colby-Sawyer College and New England College in being the only members of the North Atlantic Conference that offer track & field (along with 38 other New England Division 3 schools).
The addition of this sport was very well received by GMC students. Once the sport was suggested to be offered, student interest grew rapidly, and ultimately led to the creation of the program. President Paul Fonteyn also showed support in the addition of the sport. “I am very excited about the addition of track & field and the response of our current students…it demonstrates the commitment of Athletic Director Keith Bosley and VP Joseph Petrick to expanding and strengthening NCAA Division III athletics at GMC.”
That same summer, the athletic department announced that coach Peter Steese would be appointed as the inaugural coach of the program. Already coaching soccer, coach Steese has 18 years of experience of coaching track & field, and has guided student-athletes in New England to both regional and national recognition. He coached track & field for many years at Colby-Sawyer College, and is a United States Association of Track and Field Level I certified coach.
Not only has coach Steese coach 5 All-American athletes, but he also brought his former teams to 99 New England Track & Field championship appearances, 22 ECAC individual championship appearances, and 10 NCAA Division III championship qualifiers.
Being a former track & field athlete myself, I am very excited for the addition of the program and cannot wait for the season to start. Track & field is a universal sport, and is one of the oldest sports on Earth (some argue that IT is the oldest sport on the planet). Track takes determination, perseverance, motivation, will-power, and most importantly–guts. The fact that other sports apply running as a punishment speaks to the amount of strength and endurance required to participate in the sport.
Though the spring athletic season is not yet here, I encourage all of you to support the GMC track & field teams this coming spring, and in the meantime go out and support the winter sports currently in season!