Webster announced the suspension of sports events on March 17. Students are left to train by themselves while they hold on to hope they get back to normal their next season.
Student-athletes started off with a strong year until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Webster University decided to suspend all athletic events for the spring semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The university released an email on March 17 stating the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) voted to cancel its remaining athletic seasons and tournaments.
Kaelin Triggs, a cross-country runner, is one of the athletes who will be affected by this change. He said he is disappointed his freshman year is ending in cancellation.
“The cancellation of the season took a toll on many of the athletes,” Triggs said. “For me personally, I didn’t want my freshman year of college to end like this. I had so many goals for this upcoming track season, to accomplish things that I could not do in high school.”
Another cross-country runner, Sam Baker, said he’s disappointed he no longer gets to run this spring.
“My teammates and I worked so hard to get to this point in the season and to have it taken away from us is extremely discouraging,” Baker said. “I feel especially heartbroken for our seniors who have put in four years of hard work and made countless sacrifices for the team, yet their final season gets cut short. It just doesn’t seem fair.”
Webster also closed down all facilities for sports in an attempt to contain COVID-19 on the same day. This prevents some athletes from taking part in training for their sports.
How this will affect the mental health of the athletes later is unknown. Triggs feels as though his mental health has not been affected for now.
“I am lucky that my sport permits me to go outside and run whenever I want,” Triggs said. “Using that as a mental getaway has helped a lot. Other athletes in other sports don’t have that privilege.”
Many do not have the privilege of training outside of the campus as the local gyms close in hopes of slowing COVID-19. Runners like Triggs and Baker, however, are continuing to train by running outside. The runners are leaning towards going out for practice on their own. Baker said the runners want to take advantage of every opportunity given, even if that means they have to train on their own for a while.
“Although it’s tough, each member of our team has the discipline and dedication to train on their own. Although the situation is out of our hands now, we know that there is hope for future seasons,” Baker said. “No doubt in my mind we will all come out of this as better athletes and mentally tougher individuals.”