New McKendree Metro Rec Plex - NOW OPEN!
Ice Rink, Aquatic Center Serves University, Youth Hockey, Local Teams and Residents
McKendree Metro Rec Plex
By Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney '10
One of the newest and largest additions to the Metro East region, the recently opened McKendree Metro Rec Plex is an impressive full-service sports complex for visitors and members of all ages. It’s also home to McKendree’s latest athletic teams: ice hockey, water polo, and swimming and diving.
With two NHL-sized ice rinks and a 10-lane NCAA collegiate swimming pool, the Rec Plex gives the new Bearcat teams the perfect venue for showcasing their talent on the ice and in the water. Its prime location at 205 Rec Plex Drive in O’Fallon is just four miles from McKendree’s Lebanon campus, making it the ideal spot for team practices and home games.
Along with McKendree sports, the Rec Plex brings a wide variety of exciting fitness classes, concerts, special events, and recreational fun to the surrounding community. It’s that connection to community that makes the Rec Plex stand out as a center for sports, fun activities, and physical wellbeing in Southern Illinois. Take a look at the Rec Plex for yourself, and don’t forget to come out and cheer the Bearcats to victory in a brand new venue fit for the pros!
The Bearcat men’s and women’s ice hockey teams are gearing up for an exciting season
in the new facility. “The McKendree Metro Rec Plex brings legitimacy to our program,”
said Gary Henson, men’s hockey (D2) coach. “In a time when many universities are downsizing, McKendree is growing. This facility
is a very loud testament to McKendree’s strength and its commitment to providing students
with an outstanding experience.”
Men’s hockey D3 coach Derek Pallardy says the Rec Plex’s close proximity to campus is perfect for helping Bearcat athletes manage time spent on the road and take care of their academic responsibilities as well. “The facility reaches so many people in our community, and I’m convinced the student body and local community will become addicted to the fast-paced action and intense atmosphere that’s so unique to college hockey,” he said.
Swimming & Diving
For the swimming and diving teams, excitement is building for the opportunity to have home games in one of the most impressive aquatic centers in the area.
“The Rec Plex makes a huge statement on McKendree’s commitment to athletics and our student athletes,” said James Tierney, men’s and women’s swimming coach. “Not many Division II schools in the country have a facility like this.”
Bearcat swimmers and divers are most looking forward to having a familiar place to call their own, as well as home-pool advantage in a pool designed specifically to be a racing course. “If you’re looking for speed, this pool’s got it!” said Tierney. “We have high aspirations for some exciting NCAA competition, and the Rec Plex will make a big impact on our current team and recruiting potential talent down the line.”
McKendree men’s and women’s water polo brings even more talented competition to the pool this year.
The pool’s sleek design gives fans a front-row seat to the action, making it a thrilling experience to watch too. In this first year of team play, the Bearcat water polo squads are ready to bring their sport to the Metro East in a facility that promises an exciting, high-energy experience for players and spectators alike.
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