This is part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation Series. You can check out the rest of the series here.
Some of you frosh probably don’t know that WesTech competes in the prestigious NESCAC—the most competitive D3 conference in the country. Despite the throngs of news outlets that flock to many of our sports games, you will never have to enter a lottery system or wait in a line overnight to obtain tickets. We also aren’t like these fans, and we never will be. That’s okay. Do not believe the naysayers who claim that Wesleyan students do not support or appreciate athletics. Little known fact, Wesleyan Football holds a lifetime win record against Michigan (never mind that our first and only meet was in 1883). I have personally witnessed Wes students get so fired up after a basketball loss to Trinity that we started a “safety school” chant. Not our best moment but definitely an example of caring!
Whether you’re attempting to relive your high school glory days, looking to get or stay fit (the freshman fifteen is real), or trying out a new sport, Wesleyan has what you are looking for!
However, Wesleyan varsity athletics have been suspended for Fall 2020 due to the NESCAC covid-19 guidelines. While this is a major bummer, Wes athletics has said that they will “do our best to support club sports this fall”. Even though there won’t be throngs of students in the bleachers shouting the Wesleyan “Fight Song,” at least athletes will have the chance to get out there and play some ball.
To get you psyched about the eventual return of intercollegiate athletics, here are some highlights from before the pandemic hit.
2018-19 Highlights – (sdz’s note: girls really do run the world)
- In the fall, the Women’s Volleyball team went 20-6, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA D-III Volleyball Championships, and made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament for the first time in Wesleyan’s history
- The women’s tennis team won the NCAA D-III Championship, becoming the first women’s team at Wesleyan to do so
- Ivie Uzamere ’21, Women’s Track & Field, won the National Championship in weight throw at the NCAA D-III Indoor Track & Field Championship
- Women’s lacrosse have been setting and breaking records every season for the last 3 years. This spring, they had their best season in program history, going 17-4 and reaching the Final Four of the NCAA D-III Women’s Lacrosse Championships.
- Women’s Crew set a record for their best finish in program history, placing fourth overall at the NCAA D-III Championships.
- The Women’s Frisbee team, Vicious Circles, made it to D-III Nationals for the fourth year in a row.
- The club tennis team advanced to the USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship for the first time in its 5 years at Wesleyan.
- The athletic department announced that it is officially adding Women’s Golf to the varsity sports roster for this fall.
(editor’s note: if we missed anything that you feel should be added, please email us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org !)
Athletics for the Layman
As a member of the golf team, I love my varsity sports, but there is so much more to Wesleyan’s athletic scene!
You may be wondering how far away the Freeman Athletic Center is from central campus. If you live in Bennet: close; if you live in Butts: not close enough. Regardless, here is the link to a campus map if you’re still doubtful and here are the facility hours as an added bonus. (sdz’s note: It’s really not that far. Distance is relative.)
Freeman has everything that you need: a weight room, sauna, steam room (yes, there is a difference)(sdz: I’m still waiting for someone to tell me the difference), locker rooms for both athletes and non-athletes, pool, and rowing center. There is also a field house with an indoor track that has been resurfaced this summer. Do not hesitate to see Joe Fountain, the Director of Athletic Injury Care, or Bob Chiapetta, Manager of Intercollegiate Operations. The former can treat your injuries; the latter can provide you with equipment. Careful though, the trainer might only treat students that are on Varsity rosters. They are both located on the bottom floor near the locker rooms. I almost forgot about this stunner. When the varsity teams are not practicing on it, students are free to use it.
(fos’s note: Make sure to follow the covid-19 guidelines in these facilities. Some of these are better for socially distancing than others. Don’t be the one who ruins it for everyone!)
Tennis courts are available for use in the Field House, or out on Vine Street. Just make sure you’re not conflicting with Tennis practice, and you should be good! Also, somewhere in Freeman is a Golf hitting bay. No one knows where it is though. So good luck with that.
There are a lot of ways to get involved with athletics even if you’re not on a varsity team. Check out this site for all our fall, winter and spring intramural leagues. Intramural leagues are a great opportunity to gather some friends, random people from class, or your dorm hall and having a fun time playing sports like basketball and softball, among others. And they are going to happen in Fall 2020!
also! You can take classes! The athletic department offers everything from weight training to golf to spinning to swimming to ice skating and yoga classes each quarter!
During the school year, the pool and skating rink are open for student use during specific hours. You can also play pick up basketball or tennis in the indoor field house when the tennis team and track teams are not practicing. Check out the athletic department’s site for more information and hours! Again, coronavirus does not discriminate. Make sure to follow the rules of each facility so that we can all enjoy them!
Club teams are extremely prevalent at Wes. (fos’s note:As long you can stay six feet apart and wear a mask). We have phenomenal men’s, women’s, and mixed frisbee teams, as well as a co-ed club tennis team. We also have a men’s rugby team and a women’s rugby team. There’s also co-ed ice hockey, soccer, cycling, horseback riding, water polo, martial arts, boxing, climbing, tennis, and fencing! These teams definitely require more commitment than intramural, but they’re a great way to make life-long friends and keep yourself moving!
In 2017, Zoë Kaplan ‘20 of the Argus wrote a great article that does a run down of club sports culture at Wes, especially highlighting how they’re a great way to continue your athletic career, especially if you played in high school. Be sure to check it out here.
Fitness with Friends!
If group exercise is more your thing, Wesleyan Body and Mind (aka WesBAM) offers several different yoga and cardio classes for students, including free events almost every weekend. I 12/12 recommend WesBAM classes if you have trouble finding time to go to the gym. You can get a package that gets you classes through the semester or pay individually at $5 a class. The classes are taught by fellow students and are incredibly fun if you grab a couple of friends.
Various Awesome Sports Media™
I will say that athletics at Wesleyan is like most things at Wes: there if you want it, there if you don’t, and you can always choose whether you want to be a part of it and, if you do, there will likely be some super passionate and impressive folks on the teams.
Since there is so much more to discover about athletics at Wesleyan, and I can only make this font so small, I encourage you to explore the main page of the athletics department. Check out the team schedules, new exercise programs, sports class offerings, and much more.
Please feel free to let us know about better and more up-to-date sports media in our tipbox. Or comment below if you have any questions!
Here’s some dope Wes sports-related media:
— Wesleyan Athletics (@wes_athletics) May 22, 2019
Wesleyan Softball Spring Break 2018
This choice content c/o Wes Crew ’17-’18:
Throw Culture Spring Break 2017 (Wes’s grooviest coed ultimate team):