EDWARDSVILLE — The Crystal S. Wenzel Track and Field Suite was formally named and unveiled recently at the Charles and Mary Lukas Annex of the Vadalabene Center.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Intercollegiate Athletics celebrated the generous gift made to the track and field program in a ceremony followed by a luncheon in honor of Wenzel.
"I cannot even express how significant of an impact it makes on our program," said SIUE Interim head coach Eileen McAllister. "It's is very exciting to us to be naming the office suite after a former student-athlete and supporter of the program."
Wenzel, originally from Salem, competed for SIUE track and field from 1997 to 2002. She is a former record holder in the pole vault and completed in hurdles events for the Cougars. Wenzel graduated from SIUE in 2002 with bachelor's degrees in psychology and biological sciences.
"It is my hope that this contribution will help change the lives of other student-athletes coming to this University as the track and field program has done for me," said Wenzel.
SIUE Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt said this is a historic moment for the department as the first suite-naming gift since the opening of the Lukas Annex.
"It will have a significant effect for track and field," Hewitt said. "For the department in general, it's fruition to a high level of recognition and respect from alumni and supporters. We thank the Wenzel family for their support and generosity to SIUE Athletics as the demonstrated affinity to our University is making a major impact on our student-athletes."
McAllister said the coaching staff, in conjunction with the student-athletes, is always looking for opportunities to enhance their practice time and upgrade the student-athlete experience. This generous gift enables the program to focus on improving at all levels as it seeks to strengthen its position nationally at the NCAA Division I level.