As Trevecca Nazarene reaches the halfway point of its transition to NCAA Division II, it has added another sport – track and field.
Men’s and women’s track programs (indoor and outdoor) will join the athletics department for the 2013-14 school year, the school announced on Thursday. The teams will push to a school-record 15 the number of intercollegiate programs.
The announcement comes in the second year of a three-year transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, of which Trevecca hopes to be a full-fledged member by the 2014-15 school year.
“Since the decision to become a member of NCAA Division II, Trevecca has taken consistent steps to be a competitive leader in the new G-MAC [Great Midwest Athletic] Conference,” president Dan Boone said. “The addition of men’s and women’s track is the next step for a growing athletic program that offers the opportunity to be a successful student athlete in an unapologetically Christian environment. We love where we are headed.”
First-year cross country coach Brad Peterson will head up both track teams. Peterson, who previously coached at Friends University in Kansas, has experience with starting up a program as he established the cross country program at Indiana Tech.
The teams will practice near campus on a track at the former Tennessee Preparatory School. Cross country runners also will compete there, beginning with the indoor season next January. Each team will have six returnees for the school’s first season on the track, along with an expected 10 signees for both teams.
During the inaugural indoor season, the Trojans will compete in the 600-, 800-, 1,600-, 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs along with the distance medley. The outdoor season will initially consist of the 800, 1,500-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs, in addition to the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
“There are several aspects that have come together to allow us to add the men’s and women’s track teams with confidence,” athletics director Mark Elliott said. “First, this meets our goal to add enrollment to the university through sports sponsorship. Adding track is an attractive choice because of our desire to enhance the cross country program by giving them an opportunity to run year round in this unique way. In return our track athletes will have an opportunity to run and compete year round similar to the Oregon style.”