Iowa State track and field coaches, players excited about new complex

Kevin Shay

A recently approved plan for a new ISU athletics facility complete with a outdoor track, soccer field and softball diamond has coaches and players excited for the future.

“Essentially we’re operating right now with the remnants of an outdoor track,” said ISU track and field coach Corey Ihmels. “The ability to have a new facility that we can bring a recruit to and host meets with will be a huge key to our success as we move forward in the Big 12.”

Quality athletic facilities tend to parallel a program’s recruiting abilities to bring in top talent, no matter the sport, and the current outdoor track does more harm than good in that regard.

“It will definitely help recruiting,” said assistant coach Kristy Popp. “Right now we don’t take too many recruits up to the outdoor track. It’s not real pretty to look at.”

What also will help recruiting, as well as give the team a better competitive edge, is the ability to host outdoor meets.

“We’ll be able to host a couple meets a year,” Popp said. “And we’ll be able to host the Iowa Games, which can give a lot of kids the opportunity to see the campus. Overall it will be a good thing.”

And some of the younger members of the team are looking forward to that opportunity.

“I think it will be awesome,” said freshman jumper Nick Lucs. “The track we’re on now really needs an upgrade, and it will be great to practice and compete [on the new track].”

Fellow freshman triathlete Anna Holtermann agreed with Lucs’ assessment.

“It’s very exciting,” Holtermann said. “It’s cool to have indoor meets, but the ability to have outdoor meets as well will be nice. And just having a better place to practice outside is going to be good for us.”

Ihmels recognized the plan for the new facility would not have occurred without the aid of athletics director Jamie Pollard.

“It’s exciting that Jamie’s got a commitment to the Olympic sports,” Ihmels said. “And in the end we’re excited to continue moving forward”