This morning, the Wesleyan Track Team boycotted their track meet at Amherst to protest an unfair scheduling change. The J. Elmer Swanson Invitational, an annual track meet hosted at Wesleyan, was abruptly cancelled so that the Men’s Lacrosse team could play on the turf field (the turf field was built in the middle of the track a few years ago). Members of the track team claim that the cancellation was due to the fact that many lacrosse team parents are big donors while the track team is comprised of many students receiving financial aid. Thus, the track team does not have the same financial clout. The track team sent an open letter explaining their reasoning as well as their demands for the future. I also reached out to the athletic department for comment and Athletic Director Mike Whalen’s response is below.
Amby Burfoot ’68, arguably the greatest runner in Wesleyan cross country/track history, was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica on July 12th. Burfoot, who was one of three 2008 inductees, won the Boston Marathon his senior year at Wes–the first collegian ever to win the Marathon and the first American to win since 1957. In all, he finished the Beantown race 15 times.
Burfoot is currently executive editor of Runner’s World magazine; his most recent racing action came last Thanksgiving, when he finished first in the men’s 60-69 age group (289th overall) at the Manchester (Conn.) Road Race, an event he has won nine times.
In light of the recent running-related alumni news, methinks it’s time for some Pink Floyd…(lyrics begin around 2:27, for the uninformed).