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Mount Sees Growth in Student-Athletes, Improves Facilities to Support

Communications Staff

This fall, the Mount welcomed 525 freshmen, its second largest class in school history. Many of those new students came to the Mount to compete on one of its 18 – and soon to be 22 – NCAA Division I athletic teams. In fact, one out of every four students at the Mount is a student-athlete.

baseball-field-returf-300.jpgWith the increase in the number of student-athletes, it became apparent improvements were necessary at the PNC Sports Complex. Over the past few months, some of these facilities received significant upgrades funded through generous donor gifts to better support the Mount’s student-athletes both on and off the field, while elevating the university’s standing in the athletic competitive landscape.

One issue that was addressed was the baseball infield at E.T. Straw Family Stadium. When weather prohibited the team from practicing on the natural grass field, it would need to travel more than 100 miles round-trip to practice on the nearest turf field. Now that a turf infield has been installed, the team will not only be able to practice at home more frequently, but will save travel time that can be invested to focus more on academics and becoming involved with the Mount community. Still another benefit is the ability for club and high school tournaments to be hosted in the stadium, which will increase the exposure of the Mount’s baseball program for aspiring Division I student-athletes.

baseball-field-returf-2-300.jpgAnother project is focused on improvements for the men’s and women’s track and field team. Currently the largest athletic program at the Mount, the track and field roster is expected to eclipse 100 student-athletes next year. The team did not have one specific area that was their own, so the Horning Hospitality Suite located in the ARCC is in the process of being converted to the Waitzman Track and Field Performance Center. This space will become the new home to the track and field program, allowing the team to meet for pre- and post-practice workouts and training. The new space also includes coaches’ offices, a video review area and room to hold study hall for the student-athletes.

memorial-gym-door-300.jpegFinally, visitors to campus will notice improvements to one of the Mount’s well-loved and storied buildings – Memorial Gymnasium. Home of some of the most famous Mount basketball games, it currently serves as the practice facility for our defending NEC champion men’s basketball program. Visitors will see new men’s and women’s locker rooms, as well as space for film review and white board walls for play design. Head coach Jamion Christian, C’04, likens the upgrades to a new feel, while ensuring the history associated with the gym remains. Already a huge recruiting advantage – as many of our peer institutions lack a dedicated practice facility – the updates will provide long-term benefits as the talent level of recruits considering the Mount continues to rise.

Each of these facility upgrades was funded through the support of our generous alumni and friends. As we continue to move forward as an institution and an athletic department, other facility upgrades will become necessary. If you are interested in helping the Mount support its student-athletes through improvements to its athletic facilities, contact Kevin Robinson, director of athletic development at 301-447-5462 or

Communications Staff