Were it not for the use of Smith’s Indoor Track and Tennis (ITT) facility, hundreds of athletes would forgo winter competition, say the coaches of more than 20 high school track and field teams that crowd into the campus building every Friday night of the season for meets (view related film).
It’s not only regional high schoolers who enjoy the refuge of the ITT and the escape from winter cold and conditions it affords.
Early morning walkers and runners can continue their exercise regimens when outdoor activity is curtailed by taking advantage of the ITT’s program of opening to the public from 6 to 8 a.m. through the season. And those too young for school track teams—aspiring athletes in grades kindergarten to 8th—practice on the ITT track every Sunday night as members of the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club youth program.
Of course, the ITT, with its state-of-the-art, rubber-covered track, provides a competitive practice and meet facility for Smith’s sports teams—including, in addition to track and field, tennis and fencing, as well as for several camps and evening programs.
But since it was built in 1986, the ITT has offered multiple uses to the college and community. It stands in as the rain backup site for Smith’s annual commencement, as the venue for the School for Social Work commencement in August, and the place to which students first report upon arrival at Smith, at Central Check-In.
On Friday nights in winter, though, high school track is the “big show” at the ITT. The building comes alive with runners, high jumpers, hurdlers, shot putters and long jumpers—some 1,700 athletes in all, plus their coaches and families cheering them on.