Division III notes: Franklin adds indoor track
After sponsoring the sport outdoors for 90 years, Franklin is adding indoor track and field beginning this winter.
“The decision reflects our support for a program that has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of level of participation, and has proved itself worthy of additional support,” said Kerry Prather, director of athletics.
Prather said the school has been considering the move for several years, and that recent growth of the sport in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, combined with continuing growth of the men’s and women’s outdoor track and field rosters at Franklin, make this the right time to proceed.
“More conference schools now have a viable indoor season,” he said. “We’ve begun discussing the possibility of an indoor conference championship.”
Franklin has sponsored men’s outdoor track and field since 1918, and added a women’s team in 1978. The school now sponsors 18 varsity sports, and about 35 percent of the college’s students participate in intercollegiate athletics.
North Carolina Wesleyan boosts women’s sports
Women’s lacrosse will be reinstated as a varsity sport after a one-year hiatus at North Carolina Wesleyan, which also announced plans to add a women’s golf program.
The additions will boost sports sponsorship to 14 at the school, including eight women’s sports.
North Carolina Wesleyan, which sponsored women’s lacrosse during the 2007 and 2008 season, will field a club team in the sport during the current academic year before reinstating the program’s varsity status for 2010.
“The nucleus of the previous team has remained on campus, and we look forward to bringing in a head coach to recruit for the program as quickly as possible,” said John Thompson, athletics director.
The women’s golf program also will begin varsity play during 2009-10.
“We are equally excited to add a new and promising program like women’s golf to our list of athletics offerings,” Thompson said.
Officials say the actions are part of an effort to increase opportunities for women student-athletes and to increase campus enrollment.
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