To play, or not to play

Senior athletes decided whether or not to pursue sports in college.

Alyssa Alvarez, Sports Editor

After wrapping up this season of track and field, running long distance, senior Olivia Hoekendijk plans to continue to train this summer in preparation for her first season as a college athlete.

“I want to continue running because it provides me with a set social group and gives me structure in my day,” Hoekendijk, who plans on competing for Division III Emory University, said. “I also like how working out becomes mandatory, because I always feel better after running.”

D3 athletes have the opportunity to continue their sport in college with a less rigorous schedule compared to Division I.

Senior Coco Dana, who signed to row DI at Duke University, says she did not have college on her mind when she picked up rowing her freshman year. Dana began talking to coaches and learning about the recruitment process her junior year.

“The schedule [in college] isn’t that much different from what I’m doing now except maybe a couple more morning practices,” Dana said. “I liked the dynamic of the team, and I really liked the coaches when I talked to them over the phone.”

Despite not signing to a college, Hoekendijk credits coach Michael Buckley and his program for allowing her to take running seriously –– and the team mentality for pushing herself to be better.

Senior Gia Monachino agrees, saying that although she does not plan to continue her sport in college, she wants to find an activity that provides a similar structure, discipline and community that track and field offered.

“I think it will be a big change because my social circles during high school were based off my sports teams,” Monachino said, “so it might be difficult to find another way to make friends. I’m going to have to adopt a new system of self-discipline.”

Monachino says she will most likely do club basketball at Columbia University. She also might contact their track coach because there are no girl throwers on the team, and she is interested in doing javelin in college.

“My coach sent out a workout plan that starts on June 6,” Hoekendijk said. “We have to log our miles and submit them online, so they can see how much we are running.”

Participating in sports in high school helped athletes manage their time better and become more responsible, while getting the opportunity to meet new people, according to Monachino.