On your mark, get set, go; track team looking for comeback
2010 men’s 4×100 meter team
By Celeste Simmons
Long jump, high jump, shot-put, discus, pole-vault, 100 meters, 400 meters, 1600 meters; these are just some of events that make up track & field. Unfortunately enough, many Kean students have never been exposed to them. Five years ago however, it was a different story. Up until 2010, Kean had a track team.
“The team was great. The boys sprint team was really good.” said Joe Badru a 2014 Kean graduate. Badru was on the track as a freshman right before it was disbanded.
Why was the team disbanded is the question many are left with, but there seems to be no exact reason as to why. Badru stated that his older teammates told him the team ended because the school couldn’t afford both the track team and the new men’s volleyball team, but those were just rumors.
“We had a lot of good sprinters, a really good high jumper, a decent amount of distance runners, and a great field team.” said Badru “There weren’t a lot of girls on the team but the girl’s team was good.”
If the team was so good, why end it? Why not cut a team that had not been doing so well? All of these question remain unanswered and while what actually happened to the team may always remain a mystery, Kean may have a track team in the near future.
Stephon Fields, a freshman business management major, has been working with a few other students to bring track & field back to Kean. Fields and his friends have proposed a budget and designed a uniform. They’ve contacted the athletic director and are just waiting for him to respond with a meeting date.
“We had a petition and over 200 students signed it.” said Fields. “At first we wanted a club, but when you look at the grand scheme of things, do you know how many people would like to come to Kean just for the track team?”
This could very well be true. Track scholarships are hard to earn, a lot runners look for affordable schools that have track teams. Savonn Maye, who is a student at Union County College in Cranford studying Liberal Studies, is the captain of his school’s track team.
“I would be more willing to transfer to Kean if they had a track team. Because it may open up more opportunities for the future and possibly lead to a future in the sport.” said Maye. “I wouldn’t transfer their if they didn’t have a track team, because wherever I go I would want to run track.”
Maye will be graduating from UCC in the fall of this year, and he is currently in the process of looking for schools to transfer to.
Fields and his friends are really pushing for a team here at Kean and it seems as though there efforts may be worth it. KaylaSimone McKelvey, president of the Pan African American club here at Kean, said that the school is in the works of bringing the team back. McKelvey says there is more of a need for freshmen to want to join the team as opposed to upperclassmen, but that getting a track team has been talked about.
Fields and his friends are hoping the team will be approved in time for outdoor season of next year. “I really do believe that if we all come together we can get a team.” said Fields.