Clark stays stark in summer
By Rebecca Villareal
What is usually a mecca for physical activity has turned into a desert in both population and temperature. In the summer, Clark Field is a whopping 100 yards of empty turf and track.
An empty lacrosse field has perks for its users. Sophomore computer science major Nurriya Mohammad said she has the field almost completely to herself most days.
“I’ll take the heat over the crowd any day,” Mohammad said. “When I’d run here in the fall I’d always get a soccer ball right to the face — not the most enjoyable experience.”
Clark Field is also free to the public unlike other on-campus facilities such as Gregory Gym or the UT Rec Center, which charge $78 for a student summer interim pass and $135 for a non-UT membership.
The barren stadium isn’t a sanctuary for all athletes, however. Like a second home to him, Carlos Gomez, 21, has not skipped a day on the field in over 100 days, has ran 2 entire marathons on the track-totaling 208 laps, and has made personal relationships with athletes who were once strangers to him. Gomez said the field in the summer has a different feeling to it. He said he sometimes misses the audience sitting in the stands during soccer games, or people on the track pushing him to run faster. Fewer players on the field means smaller games and less interaction.
“It has its pros and cons,” Gomez said. “During the school year it’s a balance. After lacrosse practice the field opens up and we have soccer, football, frisbee- all the sports combined. In the summer, some people complain about it because there’s not enough people to play with.”
Maintaining and monitoring the field becomes a different story in the summer as well. Sophomore aerospace engineering major Mofe Fagade has worked as activity supervisor at Clark Field since the spring. His daily duties include a checklist he must complete each shift while making sure everyone follows the rules on the field. He said his workload becomes much lighter in the summer because everyone has gone home, but a full semester doesn’t make his job any less enjoyable.
“To be honest, it’s a cool job so I like it all the time,” Fagade said.