The rhythmic stampede of athletes bouncing off the track at Faxon Field, along with the encouraging words from Marion Mason, will become a familiar sound during the spring of 2016 as ENC begins its first ever outdoor track and field season.

Marion Mason signed on to join Coach Billy Timmins as the lead coaching staff for the Lions track and field team.

Mason has been an advocate for the inclusion of track and field as a sport at ENC since his arrival two years ago, and he’s excited to be given the opportunity to coach. Mason is a lifelong track enthusiast who’s achieved success both as an athlete and a coach in stints at multiple universities, most notably at the University of Virginia. Mason contributes his success to growing up in Virginia, where track and field was very competitive.

“I remember being in high school at a time in which the best runners in the state were some of the best runners in the nation,” Mason says. “I wanted to be great so my coach advised me to quit playing basketball and focus on track, and from there I saw a lot of results.”

Due to the results he accumulated, including his top three all-time ranking in the 60-meter hurdles and Long Jump at the University of Virginia, Mason will be primarily working with jumpers and sprinters. However, Mason has experience running the decathlon in his post-collegiate career, competing in events from the 1500-meter run to the shot-put, something Athletic Director Brad Zarges is certainly aware of.

“Marion adds a level of experience in track and field as an athlete and a coach, as well as a tactical advantage with his broad experience in track and field allowing great flexibility to the coaching staff,”  said Zarges.

As of right now, the plan is to add one more coach to the staff, possibly two depending on the roster size. Those interested in competing next spring should expect a meeting to take place within the next two weeks. There are currently no plans on restricting the roster to a set number, something Zarges thinks will work in the advantage of aspiring athletes at ENC.

“The great thing about track and field is that it’s a team sport manifested in individual performance. Each time you compete you know whether or not you improved through your times and measures, something you don’t get in a lot of sports,” Zarges said.

For anyone that might be skeptical of the value running track and field might have on their lives, Coach Mason offers a reassuring rebuttal: “Be prepared to have the greatest experience of your life.”