by AUTUMN PALMER
Athletes around the world have had their season cancelled due to COVID-19, but the virus hasn’t stopped some from working hard and coming together with their teams.
Rowers Sophie Brenna and Lindsay York on the Drake Women’s Rowing team are just two of the many athletes who had their season cut short, but are continuing to train.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MACC) set a strict guideline of rules that athletes must follow. Because of the virus, athletes aren’t allowed to race or have team practices.
“We were about to have a really good season and I think we were in a good spot for doing well at our conference race,” Brenna said.
The team was about to leave for their spring training trip when the season got cancelled, and Brenna said that everyone was disappointed.
“I was really upset by this because I was so excited to see how well we were going to do this season,” York said. “We had been working and training for months to be ready for the conference.”
Despite the setback, both rowers are still working hard.
“I am still training every day,” York said. “I was always told that ‘champions are made in the off-season.’”
Although it isn’t technically their off-season, the rowers are taking the opportunity to stay in shape and get better for next year.
Brenna goes for runs and does workouts around the house with the equipment she has in order to stay in shape.
“I don’t feel like I’m getting in the same amount of work as I would be getting at school because the motivation without your team and coaches around you isn’t the same,” Brenna said.
Even still, Brenna believes training for rowing is still important to not fall behind in their next season.
To help adjust to the changes that COVID-19 has brought, the Drake rowing coaches are staying in contact with the athletes on the team and offering encouragement.
“I feel like the coaches have been good about keeping us updated, we all had FaceTime meetings with the coaches, which was really nice,” York said. “I feel like they are trying their best with the cards they have been dealt.”
“They’re here for us if we need anything and have been motivating us to keep doing our best,” Brenna said.
And, despite the setbacks of COVID-19, Brenna said the team has grown closer.
“Our team has gotten closer and we’ve been keeping up to date with each other’s lives through different social media,” Brenna said.
The Drake rowing team uses Snapchat, Zoom, and text as ways to communicate with the group.
“Although we don’t get to see each other every day, it’s nice to get updates on what everyone is doing,” York said.
Even with this season’s setback, both athletes believe that the team will come back stronger because of it.
“It will make us feel more grateful for what we have and make us feel really good about coming together again when we can,” Brenna said.
“Although we lost some good senior rowers and coxswains, we are a young team and a strong team and I believe it will put us in good standing for next year,” York said.