The pipers competed in the MIAC swimming championships last year, taking eighth place overall. " />
2020 has been a year of adjustments to this new so-called normal. During the times of COVID-19, it has been a struggle figuring out safe ways to get people back to some semblance of normalcy. The athletics world is no different. The Hamline Athletics Department has tried it’s best to allow students back onto their fields to start practicing again.
There is not much variation when it comes to taking the extra steps to keep everyone healthy during practice. Whether it’s social distancing, wearing masks when possible, or forming practice pods with a maximum of ten athletes, safety is the main priority and coaches are trying their best to enforce these precautions.
“We stretch and move around the gym with our masks on, and even do some of our events with masks on, depending on what it is like- for instance beam,” said Jailyn Robinson, a junior on the Gymnastics and Track teams.
“We’re just happy to be back. We know what it was like to lose a season, so we’re trying our best to not let that happen again,” said Junior Hayden Ring, who is part of the Baseball team. “The energy is high and people are excited to be back.”
Athletes think some safety precautions will stick around long after COVID-19 is gone. “Some of the cleaning we do in both sports definitely should’ve been happening before COVID, so it’s cool to be doing it now,” said Robinson, regarding the new practice of cleaning the equipment each time it’s used.
Hamline Sophomore Julie Mesita on the Swim Team does miss the togetherness of her sport. “I think being apart from teammates is hard. I love the people at my designated practice times but I do miss my other teammates. I quite enjoy it when we are all back together during weights on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Mesita. Luckily for the athletes, there is a chance for the large groups to gather during their weekly lifting sessions. “I’m definitely going to have to make a concerted effort to get to know the people in the other pods,” said Robinson. “It’s honestly like having other teams. Each pod has its own chemistry and their own little culture and so it’ll be interesting to see how things adapt and change as a group.”
“I honestly think that this style of practice is more beneficial to us, as we can have more individualized practices with the coaches,” said Katie Danielzuk, a sophomore on the Track and Field Team. “I’m not sure how things might change when we can no longer practice outside, but I think that we’re all moving in the right direction for being prepared for a season!”
“At the end of the day, we get to go practice and so I’m trying to make the most of each practice,” said Robinson.