Brooke ’16 leaves her last class of the day 30 minutes early to board the school Suburban that will take her soccer team to Occidental College, 9.5 miles away from Marlborough School. The ride is too bumpy for her to work on assignments due the next day, so she simply sits and waits to arrive at her “home” game.
Marlborough athletes have used the facilities at Occidental for ten years, ever since track and field athletes began holding home meets there and the Occidental staff became very familiar with Marlborough coaches. A few years ago, Marlborough’s soccer and water polo teams were in need of facilities for home games and again turned to Occidental. When Marlborough’s new lacrosse team begins their season this spring, they will also hold home games on Occidental’s fields.
Athletic Director David Collicutt says that the relationship between Marlborough and Occidental is strong and that the School has searched for home fields closer to the Marlborough campus but has not found a better arrangement.
Because the commute to Occidental takes 25 to 30 minutes, girls must leave campus early on the days of their home games These absences can accumulate and even impact a student’s comprehension of lessons.
“If we have home games, we still have to leave school at the same time as if they were away, but if [the games] were at school we wouldn’t have to leave school early so it’s just inconvenient,” water polo athlete Talia ’16 said.
Many students say that the commute to Occidental is seldom used in a constructive way. “I don’t get any homework done on the bus,” Brooke said.
On the other hand, many track and field, soccer, and water polo athletes say that they like the Occidental facilities, which are in beautiful condition.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for us as Marlborough students to use the facilities of a college campus,” said Claire ’14.
A few other Marlborough sports host home games at off-campus venues. The golf teams, for example, must travel to nearby Wilshire Country Club (or Rancho Park Golf Course, which is 20 minutes away, for seventh and eighth graders); softball players travel to Lemon Grove Recreation Center, which is 15 minutes away; cross country runners travel to nearby Griffith Park, and tennis players travel to the Los Angeles Tennis Club, which is five minutes away.
The Arden Project, which will extend Marlborough’s campus to include a larger field and pool, will eventually eliminate the School’s need to use Occidental and most of the other off-campus athletic facilities.
The Arden Project is predicted to begin in June of 2015, but it may be longer. “Through that construction process, we’ll still need access to off-campus facilities, so Occidental will continue to be our sort of home away from home,” Collicutt said.