Camden County College Cougars at the 2019 NJCAA Track and Field Championships in Utica, New York.

By Nick Earnshaw
CCC Journalism Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt on sports all across the world for athletes including myself as the 2020 Camden County College track season was cancelled.

Going into the 2020 season I was very excited especially with it being only the second year of the track and field team at Camden County College. Both the men’s and women’s programs had been reinstated for the 2019 season for the first time in more than 30 years.

I joined last year as a freshman and was part of the program in its first year getting back on its feet.

This year a bunch of new runners joined and I was really excited to get to know them and be their teammates. Unfortunately, that did not get to happen.

On March 13, 2020 I received a text from Head Coach Wayne Merkh informing me that the season had been cancelled because of the ongoing health crisis our country is facing.

I recently talked to Coach Merkh about his feeling on the season getting cancelled. “One of the most disappointing things was for the second-year athletes to possibly have their athletic careers in organized sports come to an end,” he said to me.

I am one of those athletes to have their careers come to an end. Over the quarantine it took me a little while to come to the realization that it was all over and I would not be running again but it is reality.

Since there has been lots of down time I have reflected on my athletic career and my time as a runner and I honestly can say I gave it everything I had, I learned lots of life lessons and most of all I had so much fun.

One of the second-year runners and my teammate, Marquise Young, plans to continue to run in the future at a different school when he transfers. He still was very bummed out like me and others when he found out about not being able to compete this year. “The first thing that went through my mind was no nationals because I knew for a fact I was going to go this year and potentially win it all and I knew that my entire team was going to go as well,” he said to me.

I felt the same way as Marquise because I also was able to attend nationals last season and it was such a great and humbling experience. Not being able to experience that again with this year’s team and some of the new runners is really unfortunate.

Being around sports is something I enjoy doing. Knowing that I won’t be able to compete competitively anymore is a bit disheartening. I do plan however and have done so over the course of quarantine to study and write about sports and will continue to pursue a career in some capacity in the sports world.

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