Track and swimming latest casualties of pandemic

By Dylan Manfre

The track and field and swimming and diving seasons have become the latest sports seasons to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) announced on Dec. 1 that it is postponing the 2021 swimming and diving Championships and is canceling the 2021 indoor track and field championship, according to a news release from the league.

“The MAAC membership looked at various options for indoor track and regrettably saw no viable option under the current circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” League Commissioner Rich Ensor said in a statement. “The conference plans to conduct its reschedule men’s and women’s cross-country championship in March and, combined with the outdoor season, there seemed adequate competition options for the impacted student-athletes.”

According to the announcement, the MAAC will look to reschedule the 2021 swimming and diving championship in the spring. This is on top of the league’s intention to conduct championships for each of its fall sports, which were canceled in July and its spring sports seasons.

“It is crushing again for our student athletes to miss another season. They work so hard to gain the opportunity to compete for their university, themselves and their teammates and this is definitely a hard pill to swallow,” head track and field coach Bob Hamer said. “This is another season that many will not have the opportunity to get back. Each of them only have a limited number of seasons and when they keep getting canceled it is very difficult for them. I really feel for the student athletes.”

The Rider News reported in September that the track team was trying to schedule dual meets or tri-meets for the season.

Hamer said he is unsure if the team will be able to compete “in any fashion” before the team returns in February.

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