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“An All-American’s opinion on the pandemic’s effects on practice”.

Langston McCatty

WINCHESTER – Covid-19 or the Coronavirus, has plagued us since the early parts of the year and each day more people are affected by the virus.

Businesses, schools, and homes have all been affected by Covid and frustrations are at an all-time high with the safety regulations these establishments, as well as the government, have implemented to slow the spread. 

While people everywhere have been affected by Covid and have had to make adjustments to their daily lives, athletes have had even more changes to make to keep themselves safe as well as their teammates. 

Shenandoah Universities’ Elijah Morton, graduate student, and All-American sprinter is such an athlete.

I asked Morton for an interview to learn about his experiences before the pandemic as well as compare his experiences now. 

Morton joined Shenandoah’s Track Team in 2016, his freshman year. Since then, Morton has accumulated multiple titles such as All-American and is currently a team captain.

When asked about the differences between being on the track team now and before the pandemic, Morton replied, “While running on the team before, there was a lot of being together and hanging out. Now, event groups are isolated from other groups, so team chemistry is hard to achieve.”

Morton went on to say – “The hardest thing is not hanging out in big groups with the team as everyone is accustomed to. A lot of us are close friends outside of track and would normally all hang out together right after practice or on weekends.”

After hearing his responses, Morton, an athlete, is as socially affected by Covid as everyone else. My next questions to Morton would bring a better understanding of the life of an athlete in practice during this pandemic. 

Morton says the practices are harder now due to wearing the masks. “They make easy workouts hard workouts, but we all understand why they’re needed.

I asked Morton how this pandemic has affected his attitude towards the season and training. While he admits there are some hardships, his drive has never been stronger. 

“I’ve been more motivated to train because practice offers me a chance to leave my room and do something productive.”. 

My final question to Morton was his opinion on how the track program is handling the pandemic situation; he had nothing but praise saying – “I think the track program has done a good job handling it. Our head coach has made it very clear he isn’t taking this lightly and the team has responded well to that.” 

We can all learn from Morton and try to make the best of what we are given and remain focused on our goals and aspirations in these difficult times.

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