TOPEKA (KSNT)- It has been a year to remember for Washburn University Athletics.
The Ichabods had athletes from seven different teams compete in the DII NCAA Championships in some form.
Washburn football, men’s basketball, volleyball, softball and baseball all qualified for the NCAA tournament. The Ichabods’ tennis team sent athletes to the NCAA Championships and now Washburn track and field is doing the same. WU track and field is sending a program record 8 student-athletes to the NCAA championship meet.
Washburn head track and field coach Cameron Babb says it’s not a coincidence that the ‘Bods are finding success after adding a top-notch indoor facility.
“It’s been a special year all around for Washburn athletics,” Babb said. “It’s hard not to draw a correlation to the facilities that we’ve been building and just the coaches that have been around for awhile.”
Babb also said showing off the facilities while recruiting is huge. Senior pole vaulter Virgi Scardanzan says the ability to train all year without worrying about crazy Kansas weather is comforting.
“It’s been amazing. We’ve had the possibility of training all year long, indoor and outdoor,” Scardanzan said. “Having the possiblity of training 24/7… it’s been amazing. Building that consistency has been really, really good for us.”
Babb also says even the Washburn teams who don’t use the indoor facility often are benefiting since programs like football and track having their own space has freed up access to other areas for teams like basketball and volleyball.
Washburn baseball head coach Harley Douglas says when teams begin to succeed at Washburn it sets the bar high and raises expectations for all programs.
“The pressures on you as a coach if you’re competitive and you want to do that you see the bar, the standard that [other teams] set and you got to go get it,” Douglas said. “This university is so excited about getting us to where want to get to and being something on the national scene that people know.”