Entering this season, Claire Meyers had two years left as a member of the UL track team. Meyers, a North Vermilion graduate, was looking forward to her junior year but it was cut short because of COVID-19.
Meyers deals with no UL track season
You have been a member of UL track squad for how many years?
I am currently a redshirt junior. Including this year, I have been a member of the UL track team for four years.
You are listed as a senior. Would this have been your final year at UL or you have another year (not counting the COVID-19 extra year) if you wanted ?
This would not have been my final year competing for UL. I have one more season to compete in, not counting the COVID-19 add on. My actual senior season will be spring of 2021. I have not decided on whether I will take the COVID-19 add on year yet. This will probably be something I decide on later with regards to the completion of my schooling and how my next season plays out.
How were you told the season was canceled? Your first reaction when you heard the news?
At first, we were told in a team meeting that our season was going to be postponed until April 1.
After that meeting, we went on with practice and weights as normal, and by the time weights were finished, we heard the news that all NCAA sports were canceled for spring 2020. We didn’t hear it through anyone specifically until the next day. But a bunch of student-athletes in the weight room and on the athletic grounds we were all talking about it and social media really played its role. I saw the NCAA post about the season-ending before our coaches had a chance to tell us anything.
However, I had a feeling it was coming.
After we got out of weights and started walking to the parking lot, I experienced something I won’t forget. Student-athletes were walking to their cars without saying a word. No one was talking and heads were down. It was so obvious that we all shared the same feeling, and it was just hanging over all of us, including the facility. We would look at each other and give the same, “I know how you feel” expression. Words like, “man, I can’t believe this is happening”, “this sucks so bad”, and “see y’all when I see y’all” were all being thrown around. We all understood each other’s disappointment, and we knew we wouldn’t be on campus or around the athletic facility until next semester.
I sat there, in the parking lot on the end of my car, with a good friend for about an hour. We sat there, soaking it all in, without saying much. I cried a little out of anger, confusion, and disappointment on missing out on what was to come that season. I know all student-athletes can relate to all of these feelings.
Are you over it now, or it still has not sunk in?
I wouldn’t say that I am completely over it now because I’ll see an old picture of me competing, or my calendar will show me that I would be having a meet on this day, and I’ll get a little sad. It reminds me of what I would be doing and where I would be if all of this hadn’t happened. So, no, it hasn’t completely sunk in, but like any other athlete, I’m sure we’ve come to terms with the situation.
How ready were you for this season? You were coming off your best season. You won a meet, and also, you threw 150 feet. What was more exciting, reaching the 150-foot mark in a track meet or winning your first meet?
I was super pumped for this upcoming season. The training was going well, and I felt more prepared than I ever have before. I was going into this season with more confidence than my previous ones. Even though last season was successful, and I reached a few of my goals, which included hitting the 150-foot mark, which was by far more exciting than winning my first meet. Winning comes and goes, but I feel it’s important to push yourself to reach your potential no matter the outcome of a win or loss. I was looking forward to throwing a new best and hitting bigger milestones this season.
What have you been up to now that there is no track practice or season? When is the last time you threw a javelin?
Since the season came to an early end and there is not more training and working out, life is a little different but, in some ways, still the same. My coaches and trainer still check in weekly to make sure I’m on track with school and staying active. All of my classes are now online, so I am still doing homework, studying, and taking tests. I am still working out and doing what I can at home in order to stay in shape and ready for when things go back to normal, and we can start lifting and training like before.
When do you plan to graduate from UL?
I am on track to graduate in May 2021 with a degree in finance and a minor in interior design. After college, I plan on pursuing my dream of owning my own interior design business.