Like some other teams across the country, the East Carolina University Cross Country team’s season has been cancelled because of a decision made on Sept. 4 by the American Athletic Conference (AAC).
The AAC will begin to hold meetings to decide if they will attempt to have the season in the spring.
The team will continue to practice and prepare like nothing has changed as they hope to be able to compete in the spring, head coach Josey Weaver said.
“As of right now, on the practice side nothing has changed,” Weaver said. “We are still able to practice the same amount of times, we are still without practice vans and we are not allowed to travel anywhere in the practice vans or anything like that, so we are pretty much practicing from the school everyday.”
The team was hopeful but wasn’t surprised by the decision, Weaver said, and it still raises some complications going forward as many of the athletes on the team are also on the track and field teams that compete in the winter and spring.
No decisions have been made by the AAC in regards to if the cross country season will be held in the spring or if it will just be officially cancelled all together, according to Weaver.
“There are a lot of rumors going around, but in terms of actually knowing, they have not yet given us a detailed schedule of what it would look like,” Weaver said. “We have three seasons with cross (country), indoor (winter track and field) and outdoor (spring track and field) in a semester, so that will be a lot. Assuming that we have indoor and outdoor, that is the big question. What will it look like? We should have a better idea later this semester.”
Weaver said what will happen in the future is now more or less a waiting game for the team but those affected aren't letting this setback weigh on them as their focus now is to prepare for whenever the season is going to be held.
Despite not being able to compete in competition every other week as their schedule would have had them do, their practice schedule remains mostly the same, Weaver said.
“For the next six weeks it is a little different than it would have been. We are gonna have fun. We are gonna train hard, but we are gonna have fun with it,” Weaver said. “We have had so much stress and let down with not having outdoor (past spring) and now not having cross country. We are gonna juice our athletes back up with competition.”
Weaver said that while the cancellation of the season is a disappointment, the coaching staff wants to get some level of competition in, so the plan going forward is to add time trials to practice every other week for the next six weeks to simulate the season and to get some inter-squad competition.