Season cancellation cuts senior careers short, prompts reflection
Sean Kelley | Friday, May 21, 2021
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Jackie Bauters and the Saint Mary’s cross country team faced a challenge that no amount of training could have prepared them for, a season cancellation. The team was able to have a few practices in the fall, but after the season was ended, the focus switched to finding opportunities for team building.
“We did study tables once a week as a team,” Coach Bauters said. “After, we had a team dinner in the dining hall. We tried to do a fun weekly activity, so we did scavenger hunts and team trivia. We really tried to keep the group together as much as we could.”
Beyond missing time for the team to be together, there is still uncertainty about the next season. Bauters went on to discuss how her team has embraced the uncertainty.
“I think that’s one of the biggest lessons of the pandemic is flexibility and being adaptable. It’s not always fun, but I feel like that’s one of the greatest things that I’ve seen is that everybody is in the mentality of ‘okay we can pivot, we can do something different.’”
Adaptability has become a major theme for the Belles Cross Country team this season, and going into next, they will have to keep fighting and adapting. Assuming that next season will be on, Bauters believes there is much to look forward to.
“I think some of my girls are just so ready to just compete, that missing this season will not be an issue. I think we’re going to have some great seasons. On the other hand, I’m sure there will be others that will struggle with getting back into it, so I think it will be a mixed bag.”
Even with the unknowns that come with every season, Bauters has been “chomping at the bit hoping that we can have as much of a normal season as possible.”
With this year behind them, the team will look to build on the lessons they learned and attack the summer workouts with anticipation.
Overall, after a season of trials and tribulation, the hardest part for Bauters has been saying goodbye to her seniors.
She said of her three seniors, Katie Glenn, Shanan Hamilton and Maura Honan, “I wish we would have had that time together this season, and I wish them all the best as they continue their athletic careers. I know they’re going to keep running, biking and competing in triathlons. I love them and wish them the best!”