SARAH WUELLNER, Asst. Sports Editor—Jacob Brown ‘24 has only just begun his Denison Track & Field career, but he has already accomplished so much. Jacob runs the two day events of the heptathlon and decathlon. However, his favorite event is long jump.
Track has now moved from indoor season to outdoor season for the spring semester.
As for mask protocol, the track athletes must wear them when they are not competing, but can now take off their masks for hard workouts as they are outside and they can properly social distance.
Brown ran track all throughout high school and now is a part of the varsity team at Denison.
“Track has probably become more of a part of my life here than it was previously because it is a good break in my schedule to see people that I like. We all have a common goal that we are working towards. The transition here is that the competition is higher and there is a lot more pressure. I had to mentally transition from being a high school athlete to being a college athlete. I have enjoyed the increased competition though” he described.
The team practices six days a week compared to the two or three days of practice in the fall semester.
“Practices are a lot harder than they were in high school. It has been an adjustment for me going from one hour of practice to two hours of practice. The coaches expect you to give 100%. In high school we had much larger teams and the coaches were not as focused on each individual athlete” he said.
The pandemic has made track look and feel a lot different for Jacob with the added masks and COVID-19 protocol. “The hardest part is being more separated from the people on my team because we can’t go up and give each other high fives and stuff like that, which I really miss. In high school we would go out to eat and now we can’t do those social events as a team” he reminisced.
Despite the new challenges the team has faced, Jacob still finds positive points to this season.
“I think it has brought us more together because we have to learn how to deal with the virus, while also playing a sport that we all love.” He went on to say, “I think for a lot of us COVID-19 has brought a lot of stress, but track has been very therapeutic for me. It is a break in my day from classes and homework to do something totally different than being on my computer” he exclaimed.
For the indoor season the track team was not allowed to have indoor spectators. This outdoor season each player is allowed to have two family members come per meet. Sports teams at Denison are being tested every week to ensure they are healthy.
“We get tested once a week usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We get our test results back usually the day before our meet. We have been very fortunate that we have only had one positive case on the team and it was handled very well. As one of the larger teams it is tough because there are just more people and more chances that someone can test positive” he explained.
Brown is excited for what the next three years of his track and field career will look like at Denison. He is looking forward to hopefully a normal season next year where he can socialize with the team. “I have to shift my mentality and get used to the increased workload. I am looking forward to getting to know the team better and continuing to adjust to a very different version of track in which it looks right now and what it is like to be a college athlete” he concluded.