Elms College Athletics to Add Men’s, Women’s Outdoor Track Teams
CHICOPEE, Mass. ÛÓ The Athletics Department at the College of Our Lady of the Elms will add men’s and women’s outdoor track teams in 2017. Starting in the spring semester of the 2016-2017 academic year, the team will compete in the following events: 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1,500 m, 3,000 m, 5,000 m, 10,000 m, 4×100 m, 4×400 m and 4×800 m.
“I’m excited about the prospect of adding this new sport to the 15 other men’s and women’s sports we already sponsor,” said Ellen McEwen, director of athletics at Elms. “This addition to our athletics department can be very successful in this geographical area, especially under the leadership of our cross country coach, Matt Dyer, who has a very strong background in the area of track. He put together the program proposal for us, and will be coaching both the men’s and women’s teams.”
The team will be about more than sport, according to Dyer. “We really care about giving back and carrying out the mission of Elms College and the Sisters of St. Joseph,” he said. “Our cross country team does a multiday overnight service trip each fall, and I’m sure we will continue some similar mission and service work with our track programs. We really love and enjoy the process of working hard and growing together not only as students and athletes, but as people trying to serve a higher cause.”
Dyer has just completed his fourth season as head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country programs at Elms. Hired in August of 2012, he has helped direct both teams to stellar finishes in the New England Collegiate Conference: The women’s team came in second in 2013 and 2014, and the men’s team was third in 2015. Dyer was named NECC women’s coach of the year in 2013.
Prior to joining Elms, Dyer spent three years as the assistant track and field and cross country coach at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., where he was in charge of the team’s sprinters and jumpers, recruited prospective high school athletes, and assisted in the management of home track and field and cross country events.
As an NCAA Division III student athlete at Connecticut College, Dyer competed as a sprinter, capping his career by being named a team captain and being named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) all-academic and all-sportsmanship teams.
Dyer earned a master’s degree in exercise science and sports studies with a concentration in strength and conditioning from Springfield College in the summer of 2015. He also is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA CSCS), a USATF Level One-certified coach, and a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN).
Elms’ sports teams have a strong track record of excelling in academics as well as athletics, McEwen said. In 2014-2015, the overall athletic department GPA was 3.25. The cumulative GPA for the men’s and women’s cross country teams, which includes many of the runners who will make up the track team, was 3.54 for the men and 3.52 for the women.
About Elms College
Elms College is a co-educational Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that gives students multiple perspectives on life. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.