In August, the National Association of Intercollegiate Associations announced championships for fall and winter sports would be moved to spring 2021.These changes will affect indoor track and field, men’s and women’s basketball, with their championships moved to next March.
In addition, cross country, men’s and women’s volleyball, and women’s soccer championship games will take place in April, with men’s soccer and tennis set for May.
This change, as a result of COVID-19, has altered the fall sports seasons, ultimately posing the question, “How will the teams deal with this?”
“We are saving some of our eight races for the spring season, so we can get rated higher for nationals,” said Rustin Nyce, head cross country coach.
Nyce made the switch so as to earn a rating both in the spring and fall. By running some meets in the fall, it allows the team to be rated. When the season is continued in the spring, Nyce anticipates the team having an edge on other teams that might have not raced in the fall.
“The season will continue in the middle of track season, so we will still be training, just not specifically for the 8K that they do in cross country,” said Salvador Escamilla, senior cross country runner.
Escamilla isn’t worried about the jump from track back to cross country due to the fact that the team will train for the 10K in indoor track.
“Typically we use indoor track for speed training, so we might have to continue that 5K and 8K training instead of what we typically do for track,” Nyce said.
Come spring, athletes must also decide whether or not they want to continue with track or cross country, Nyce said.
“To avoid injury we might have to sit some people out of cross country depending on what each athlete wants to do,” he said.
After making nationals last year, the cross country team anticipates a strong split-season, finishing 6th of 18 at the Indiana Wesleyan University Twilight Classic in Marion on Friday, Sept. 11.