Alum reflects on losing senior collegiate track season

BHS+alum+Carlyn+Cole+was+set+and+ready+for+her+senior+of+track+at+Coe+College+in+Iowa.

BHS alum Carlyn Cole was set and ready for her senior of track at Coe College in Iowa.

Ty Harris, Online Editor

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the United States, schools all over the country have been cancelled. Although this disaster is distressing for all, it is especially so for students such as BHS graduate Carlyn Cole, whose senior year of track at Coe College in Iowa was cancelled.

Track and field has been a passion of Cole’s for 10 years. She was devastated when she heard the news.

“Immediately, my heart was just broken,” she said. “I was thinking about all the times/PRs I still had left to run, all the time I spent rehabbing my body to complete, how it all just ended so quickly even though I dedicated countless hours to training. I had a moment where I just thought, ‘What the heck is my purpose now?’ I had put my whole self-identity into being an athlete, and it was just an odd empty feeling knowing that that piece was missing now.”

Cole was confident and had set many goals for herself this season.

My first goal was to compete with minimal injuries and no hamstring pulls, since I had suffered so many injuries throughout my career that kept me from running times I wanted,” she said. “My biggest goal was to qualify for nationals which was actually a very realistic goal. At one point this indoor season I was ranked 15th in the nation in the open 400 meter.”

As painful as the realization is for her, Cole has accepted that cancellation of the season was the school’s best and only decision.

“I am still struggling with hard feelings when I am reminded about sporting events I was looking forward to like, senior recognition, senior athletic dinner, Coespyes award, senior banquet, and running my last race knowing it was my last race,” she said. “Now with how the colleges are finishing out the semester and how quickly COVID is spreading I’ve accepted that canceling the season was the best decision even though it’s still a painful decision. My mindset now is how can I give back to my team and how can I continue to support my underclassmen teammates for their future career.”

Although devastated that her senior year of college track is cancelled, Cole says that she will never abandon her passion for the sport.

“After all of this, I’ve realized there is no way I am done with track even if I am not running for a college,” she said. “I plan to compete at meets unattached if my body allows. I also know that at some point in my life I want to coach. Even if it’s just volunteering at a school. I have so much passion and knowledge about the sport that I have to give back to the track community.”