How CC athletes are pulling from their archives of athletic triumphs and team laughs to push through these competition-less days
Oct 23, 2020 | SPORTS | By Jacob Adas | Photo by Bibi Powers
With the pandemic over six months long now and showing no sign of stopping, nearly everyone in the world is craving some sense of normalcy. For many Colorado College athletes, sports provide this sense of normalcy and right now, although we see many teams resuming practice and strength training, the idea of a spring season for many athletes still seems far away or even unlikely.
With no real competition lined up in the foreseeable future, you may think that CC athletes are not motivated to work hard and improve. But that is not the case, as the athletes here are working harder than ever, and preparing for whenever their next season happens. Past memories of competing are notable motivators for them. I caught up with some of our favorite Tiger athletes to see what is motivating them during these dry days and to have them recall their favorite moments as CC athletes.
Haley Caspersen ’23, of the women’s tennis team, spoke very highly about her experience as an athlete at CC. “Just being with the team was a big part of what made my year as great as it was last year,” said Caspersen. However, having her freshman year cut short before the conference championship was hard.
“We all had a goal and were working so hard to achieve it, when Covid hit and we got sent home that was really hard,” Caspersen said. “Coming back this year, it has been great to be able to practice again, but it is different. Everything is so up in the air — it is definitely a lot harder to stay motivated, since we don’t really know what our end goal is in general.” However, she is finding a silver lining, and is excited to see her teammates who are currently not on campus and are returning to the team.
I also spoke to two members of the men’s tennis team, Sam Hum ’21 and Ray Fleming ’23. For Hum, his favorite moment “was beating Southwestern’s #1 doubles team when we hosted conference my freshman year. The whole Air Force indoor facility was packed and the atmosphere was so much fun!”
Hum is currently taking the semester off while living in California. He says his hitting has been limited because he strives to ensure the safety of his family and obey the state’s restrictions above all else. That being said, Hum is still taking steps to prepare for the spring. He has been training hard and working on the physical aspect of the game to ensure his readiness for a potential spring season. He is stoked to return to campus to be with his teammates and to meet some of the new freshmen on the team.
Fleming’s favorite moment was a Friendsgiving dinner the men’s tennis team had last fall. He enjoys sharing time with his teammates off the court and described how the team outings help the team to “develop our chemistry and come together … solidifying our brotherhood for when we took the court together.”
Fleming has been in the Springs practicing with those on campus and is excited to compete whenever that might happen. “We have a really competitive group of student athletes who will push and support one another to greater heights, and I look forward to when we have a chance to unleash COVID rage-fueled destruction on our opponents,” said Fleming. With a statement like that, I’m excited to see the men’s tennis team in action whenever that occurs.
Finally, I caught up with Marilyn Jackson ’22, a member of the women’s track team. She says her favorite moment was “checking out the Puget Sound after our only outdoor meet last year, [which was] right before Corona — that was cool.” One of the many benefits of being an athlete here at CC is traveling with some of your closest friends to compete. That trip to Washington really stuck out for Jackson, and she is optimistic that she will have the chance to compete and travel with her team again.
With all Tiger athletes waiting patiently to get back to competing, they reminisce on what their experience has been so far. These memories motivate them to keep training even though the future is uncertain. Although they do not know when they will be able to compete again, your Tiger athletes are preparing and will be ready whenever they return to action.