On Nov. 3, Alma College athletics announced that, with the help of donors, a new indoor athletics facility will be added to campus in fall ‘23. It will feature an indoor track, turf field, weight room, and locker rooms for the soccer and baseball teams.
The building will be located by the baseball and soccer fields, in what is to be called the “Greg Hatcher Athletics Campus”.
This state-of-the-art facility will provide student- athletes with a leg-up in training and competition, as it will allow teams to continue practice in harsh weather conditions and host more sporting events.
This facility will be a “game changer for Athletics, Alma College, and our community,” said Sarah Dehring, athletic director at Alma College.
“This facility will provide a quality space for teams to train year-round, as well as provide locker rooms and athletic training space for the outdoor venues at the Greg Hatcher Athletics Campus,” said Dehring.
“We are expecting to break ground in early 2023 and open the doors in the fall.”
This facility would not have been made possible without the generous support of donors. One such donor is Greg Hatcher, the most substantial alumni donor in Alma College history.
During his time at Alma, Hatcher played soccer, baseball and wrestling. “The things I learned on the sports field translated into business. When I left, I knew how to work a little longer and harder than most people,” said Hatcher.
“When you build better facilities, you attract more coaches and more athletes to the school… and when that occurs, [teams] win. And when they win, they develop confidence. And when they develop confidence and get used to winning, then they’ll win when they leave Alma College,” said Hatcher.
While this space will be utilized by multiple sports including the Kiltie Marching Band, one sport is particularly excited about the new addition to campus: track and field.
Matthew Chovanec, head coach for both cross country and track and field teams, is looking forward to the “growth” that the facility will potentially bring for the team.
“It gives us a building that we can show off in terms of recruiting,” said Chovanec. “Overall, we’re really excited about the possibilities and what it does as far as opening doors for the program, as well as the whole school.”
“It’ll hopefully put us in a better position to compete for MIAA titles down the road. If you have depth and quality, you have an opportunity to win league titles at that point. That’s the big thing we’re looking for,” said Chovanec.
The track and field athletes are equally as excited to get in the new facility. “I’m excited about the fact that, over the winter, we’ll have somewhere other to train than the outdoor track because it’s always freezing cold. I believe it’s going to make our runners better by being able to train indoors,” said mid-distance runner Justin Kissling (‘24).
As of right now, the indoor track and field team practices outside through the snow and freezing temperatures, which can limit performance. The new facility will provide a major solution to that.
In addition to not having to practice outside, the facility will give the team advantages in both competing and recruiting. After it is built, Alma will be the second out of nine schools to have an indoor track in the MIAA conference.
“This will open up the opportunity for more high schoolers, especially those who run indoors, to come and see the campus,” said sprinter/hurdler Andrea Taghon (‘24). She hopes it will “bring more students to campus” and help grow the team.
In addition to hosting collegiate indoor meets, the college will be able to host high school meets and bring prospective students to the campus. The facility will give current athletic teams heightened training opportunities and boost recruitment possibilities.
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