Renovated Carver weight room benefits athletes

Augie+athletes+working+out+in+the+new+Carver+gym%2C+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+14.

Augie athletes working out in the new Carver gym, on Friday, Sept. 14.

Olivia Hagerty

The new and improved Carver P.E. Center Weight Room opened this fall and has been a great asset to Augustana’s varsity teams. The athletic department installed entirely new equipment and flooring for the first time since 2004.
Director of Athletics Mike Zapolski said that not being able to reconstruct the building made the main priority to use the available empty space wisely.
“We had to closely identify where we were going to place equipment and put in effort to make [the space] as efficient as possible,” Zapolski said. “Due to school schedules, we wanted to set it up so we can have multiple teams using the space at once.”
The strength center’s makeover was the result of a collective fundraising project led by Athletics Gift Officer Kyle Ekberg. The project brought in around $300,000.
“The equipment in the previous weight room was old and it didn’t really show all that well,” Zapolski said. “The way athletics evolved was a few men’s teams would use the weight room, but now strength and conditioning is an integral part of the training process for every sport. It has changed dramatically. It was a project that benefited the whole Augustana athletic department.”
Carver’s remodel will not only impact students athletes now, but also the hundreds of future Vikings. Recruiting was a big part of the reconstruction process. Zapolski said that the new weight room finally gives off that “wow” factor and now is a positive showcase.
All of the equipment in the center was purchased from the vendor Power Lift and the new floor is from SPEC Athletics. The new facility features all new bench racks, dumbbells and other new training equipment like jump boxes.
Strength and conditioning coach Jeff Rose has enjoyed the new additions to the weight room. His new favorite piece of equipment is the glute hammer vs. hyperextension machine.
“With the new glute hammer vs. hyperextension machines, athletes can work on glute and hamstring strengthening without having to use a barbell. This machine is important for a lot of teams to use in the middle of their seasons,” Rose said. “The weight room now creates a better environment for the teams. We can work out and not be on top of each other all the time.”
The Carver weight room hosts varsity teams every week. The men’s swim team, which is about to have their first swim meet against cross river rivals St. Ambrose on Oct. 5, has spent long hours in the weight room improving their skills.
Senior captain Bryan Haage said the new weight room will be a key factor in bettering the swimmers’ abilities.
“It will help the swimmers get a better workout, which will improve our strength and endurance for swimming,” Haage said. “The new weight room has made it so everyone is allowed to use the weights that they need without sharing as much, which has allowed the swim team to get more done in our time being there.”
As the winter teams start to prepare for their upcoming seasons, the weight room will continue to help the teams improve their strength and ability.
Photo Above: Augie athletes working out in the new Carver gym, on Friday, Sept. 14. Photo by Emma Gannaway.