Student Athletes Being Studied at UMaine 

In what used to be a storage area on the bottom floor of Lengyll Hall is now a high tech training center and research area with the same technology that’s being used in Hollywood.”The cameras, the optical motion capture system that we use here, is also used to film portions of the movie Avatar, so it’s pretty advanced,” says Tom Ordelt, a UMaine Graduate Student in Exercise Sciences.”This is the same stuff that makes video games, I mean all that Xbox and PS3 stuff, this is the same stuff, so these kids are in a way creating their own video game so to speak, so it’s a great experience for them,” says UMaine Assistant Track and Field coach, and former Black Bear, Dave Cusano. ” It’s a great experience for the students in the KPE Department to come down and watch this equipment be used in our department which is amazing. And then in terms of the athletic piece, just being able to get that much information at your hands in an instant is amazing.”Junior Jesse Labreck holds a number of school and conference track and field records. But she’s taking part in the study and the hour long process of getting all of the sensors taped to her body, as another way to improve. “I think it can help a lot because it shows you what muscles you use first so if you’re not lifting properly you’re not executing properly that can help you.” “It’ll definitely help our block starts and how we come out of the blocks which is a big part of our race.””One benefit for the coaches and for the athletes,” said Ordelt, ” will be to determine whether they’re wasting their time on certain exercises or if these exercises that are performed are actually of benefit.”According to Cusano many of the track and field athletes are also studying the same topics in the classroom.”They’re getting to learn while doing so to speak, and at the same time it’s really exciting and it’s a great opportunity for all the students. We also have engineers that are now thinking of different things now because of technology in use here now, so it’s a great opportunity like you said for the student athlete so it’s a great experience.”