Sports

Xavier announces new speedwalking team for 2022

The program will take the budget of other varsity sports at the university

BY SLOW RUNNER, Possible Speedwalker
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
A Xavier freshman walks across campus to practice for the new speedwalking team. Speedwalking coach Bart Walker believes that the speedwalking team has the potential to become much more popular than the track and field program. The team will have significant funding from Xavier Athletics.

The NCAA has recently introduced a new Division I sport that will be coming to Xavier next spring. 

D1 speedwalking was brought into college athletics to give the slow track stars a chance. Many have expressed interest in the sport but are concerned about the sport’s strenuous nature.

Right now, the meets are set to be a 100-mile speedwalking race throughout the Cincinnati area. Athletes will participate in a timed meet, speed the distance throughout the city in less than a day.

Speedwalking coach Bart Walker stated, “I am excited for this to be brought to Xavier. This will allow current track and field players to participate in a D1 sport.” 

Walker said that he has been recruiting students daily while walking through campus. 

“I see these students gracefully speedwalking, and I immediately recruit them to the team and offer them a full-ride scholarship,” he said. 

 Xavier’s athletic board has decided to cut funds from all other varsity teams to support this new team. 

Athletic Director Larry Shoe stated, “In efforts to make speedwalking a successful sport at Xavier, we have decided to cut all funds from all other teams.” 

Rumor has it that even Xavier baseball and volleyball will be cut from the budget completely. 

There is a plan to use the baseball field as an outdoor track and Cintas Center will be converted into an indoor track for practices during the winter.

Shoe added that the decision to get rid of the basketball arena was difficult, but noted the basketball team can practice at the Health United Building and the outdoor courts. 

There are no tryouts for the team, it is strictly recruits only. 

As such, students all around campus are trying to get recognized to get recruited for the team. 

“I plan on quitting the basketball team if I get chosen for the speedwalking team,” junior basketball player Slam Dunk said. 

Training begins for the spring starting April 12 and Zoom training sessions will continue throughout the summer. 

Walker hopes that this program will become bigger than the track and field program currently is. 

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