The program that received the most obvious benefit was indoor track and field, which gained a facility where it previously had none. The new surface in the Field House, along with the addition of a long jump pit and pole vault box, made it possible for the Mules to host their first home meet on January 25.

The 2005 season marked one of the best ever in Muhlenberg indoor track history, with both teams finishing second at the Centennial Conference Championships. “I definitely think the new track had an impact on the success of our season,” remarked senior Calvin Tintle. “The track was easier on our legs, making us less susceptible to injury. Also, practicing and training on the type of track we compete on put us at a bigger advantage than in years before.”

“Track participants often have nagging, ongoing injuries, and the new training room has really added to the treatments we can receive,” added junior Valerie Robuck.

The new floor also has extreme effects on tennis, the only other team that competes against other schools in the Field House. “The old floor was so fast,” said junior women’s tennis player Stacy Lipschutz. “The new floor handles tennis balls much better, making indoor tennis matches much easier.”

Missy DeFrain ’06 works with Coach Ruth Gibbs on perfecting her swing.

The improvements in the Field House can be seen not only by looking down at the floor but also by looking up to the ceiling. A new netting system has the ability to break up certain areas of the large space, allowing more than one team to practice at a time. “The new nets are great for our practices,” said sophomore softball player Katie Olson. “They keep the balls from getting away from us and also protect other athletes in the gym.”

Not only the large changes have impacted Muhlenberg athletics; the small things have also really mattered. “The new locker rooms are a big deal,” stated junior first baseman James Petersen of the baseball team. “For the first time, you can fit everything you need in your locker. It is much more convenient.”

The back half of the third-floor wing of the new facility, possibly the least important to players, is most important to the coaches. New offices, giving each coach his or her individual space, have made life easier for the staff. Large conference rooms and several spacious film viewing rooms also occupy this area. “The quality of the film viewing equipment is much better,” commented junior lacrosse player Mike Tentindo. “Sometimes I don’t think people understand the importance of being able to see yourself on film. It helps to develop athletes. The new rooms give us a greater opportunity to improve.”

No matter what season or sport, athletes and non-athletes can benefit from the Life Sports Center Café. A bottle of Gatorade or a quick sandwich before a long road trip are available in the complex. For those who spend every day in the Sports Center, lunch is only a hop, skip and jump away. Many Muhlenberg athletes and their families turn to the café to provide a quick snack after a match or game. Even though the GQ and Garden Room are only a short walk away, in the heat of the summer or frost of the winter the Life Sports Center Café becomes a convenient choice.

Life-sized murals of past Muhlenberg athletes line the walls of the new corridor, helping current students to remember the great athletes before their time. The murals always seem to be getting glances and offer some sort of inspiration.

Large television sets allow for more entertaining workout sessions and computers are available to check in on the latest stats or send a quick instant message.

Look up. Look down. Look left. Look right. Everywhere you look, the changes are tremendous. The new building has opened new doors for all Muhlenberg athletes, offering opportunities that were never before available. Some things are small and some things are large. Some things are season-changing and others are just more comfortable. However, anyway you look at it, the new Life Sports Center has added a greater dimension to Muhlenberg athletics. As Muhlenberg continues to grow academically, it is only appropriate that it also grows athletically.

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