Student athletes unfazed by travel demands

Austin Lane, Sports Editor

Student athletes who travel for away games, matches or meets are in an interesting situation due to the location of Ellensburg. 

The closest opponent for CWU Football in the GNAC is Western Oregon University, which is about a four and a half hour drive away. Seattle is about a two hour drive but hosts the closest GNAC opponent for CWU Basketball, Seattle Pacific University. Any athletes who make the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Championships will fly nearly seven hours to Birmingham, Alabama this year.

With all the travel demands, one might expect student athletes to be stressed from classes, physically exhausted or even jet lagged at times.

But for some CWU student athletes, it’s actually quite the opposite.

“Personally, I love it, I love away games. They’re fun,” football quarterback Christian Moore said. “I’m gonna remember the long trips and the bus rides and the plane flights with all my guys.”

Moore said one of his favorite memories of travelling was the bus ride the football team took to Arcata, California in 2018 for a road game against Humboldt State University. The team won the game 62-24, but had to leave home to Ellensburg the same night.

Teagan Kimbro

“We got done around nine o’ clock and then we got on the bus and I’ll never forget just waking up, seeing dudes sprawled out everywhere on the floor… at 8 a.m. and you’re like, we still got five hours to go,” Moore said.

Some student athletes understand the difficulty of having to miss classes. Both men’s basketball and women’s basketball usually play on Thursdays with an occasional Tuesday night game sprinkled in. One of the toughest schedules to deal with as an athlete is a basketball schedule. Because of this, senior forward Taylor Shaw modified her class schedule this quarter.

“That’s the way to go during season because you get to do everything you need to do while on the road,” Shaw said. 

Even though Shaw doesn’t have as many scheduling difficulties as other student athletes due to taking online classes, she understands it might be tough for fellow athletes whose only options are to take classes on campus.

“I think missing class definitely is difficult for some people,” Shaw said. “You’re missing Wednesday through Friday every other week, so you’re either having to teach yourself or get help outside, which you already don’t have much time as is when you’re here because you have practice or class.”

Shaw also enjoys going on road trips, and her favorite road trip to go on is the trip to Oregon to take on Western Oregon University and Concordia University. Shaw grew up in western Oregon, so for this specific trip, not only does her family get to watch her in her hometown, but she and her teammates get to see her family.

“I live in the typical little suburban house, not very big but we cram the whole team in there. My dad loves to cook so he puts meat on the Traeger and we play lots of games… those are the little things I think about that I’m going to miss the most,” Shaw said.

The team also goes to senior forward Kaelie Flores’ house for a family dinner while on the road trip. Shaw said the team has been doing that every year since she was a freshman.

Some CWU Track and Field athletes have an additional hardship if they compete in both the indoor and outdoor season. This causes them to have to miss most Friday classes in both winter and spring quarter. 

Track and Field junior Mariah Jones, who competes in the weight throw, shot put, hammer throw and discus, said her professors work with her to make sure she can get the most out of herself as an athlete, but also as a student.

“I love traveling but it does come with a lot of scheduling and there’s a lot of moving parts,” Jones said. “A lot of the times my professors work with me pretty well… the biggest thing is communicating with them when you’re gonna be gone so they know what to expect.”