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Partnership enhances MVNU track & field programs

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The relationship between Mount Vernon City Schools and Mount Vernon Nazarene University continues to move at a marathon pace as the educational institutions are eying the finish line on efforts to strengthen indoor track & field opportunities for student-athletes.

Plans to share the Community Field House on the Mount Vernon High School campus were made public during a joint meeting between the two schools and the City of Mount Vernon on April 10. This will provide MVNU student-athletes a collegiate-level facility in which to train and compete.

“The plan to share facilities is yet another expression of the organic relationship between MVNU and Mount Vernon City Schools, the City of Mount Vernon, and the community,” said Dr. Henry W. Spaulding II, MVNU president. “It will allow us to expand our programs and enhance the experience of our athletes. Hosting indoor meets will help us showcase our university and the city.”

As MVNU’s track and field program expands, Athletic Director Chip Wilson is coping with the growing pains that accompany the successes.

“Our track program has grown in size to the point that we do not have proper training space and equipment to give our student-athletes a dynamic athletic experience,” said Wilson. “The partnership with the Mount Vernon community and Mount Vernon City Schools will allow us to continue growing our numbers and give our student-athletes a high-quality space for training and competition.”

The opportunity to collaborate with MVNU to include the collegiate-level track in the Community Field House project came in the eleventh hour, according to Mount Vernon City Schools Superintendent William Seder, but the decision has resulted in a six-lane, 200-meter track that will support growth and success for both programs.

“This facility will not only prepare our student-athletes for competition, it will be built to house competitions for both Mount Vernon High School and Middle School, as well as an indoor competition space for Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s track & field teams,” said Justin Sandford, athletic/activities director for Mount Vernon High School.

While new, state-of-the-art facilities are an added benefit to any athletic program, Wilson is a firm believer it is the core principles in his track & field programs that sparks engagement in the recruitment process.

“The new indoor facility will be an added recruitment tool for our prospective student-athletes. However, the goal in recruiting will continue to be centered around relationship building and providing opportunities for our student-athletes,” Wilson said. “We have developed an environment and culture in our early development in men’s and women’s track & field that is grounded in Christ-centered relationships. This new partnership and facility will now be an added tool to use as an avenue to enhance this culture.”

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 31 states and 22 countries/U.S. territories.

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