Cross Country to create team “bubble”

The Baker Wildcat cross country teams have decided to go into their own “bubble” in preparation for the Heart of America Conference Championship. In the day and age we live in, nothing seems unordinary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The creative approaches by sports teams have changed the landscape of athletics in 2020. 

A voluntary self-quarantine has been something that Head Cross Country Coach Tim Byers has been thinking about for some time. The unpredictability and rapid spread of COVID-19 has allowed for a decision to jump the curve for the team. 

Mia Wilhoit, a junior on the women’s cross country team, reiterated her coach’s words of bubbling the team by saying, “It’s a continuous reminder that we have to be diligent about our safety and the safety of others.”

Wilhoit went on to talk about what this does for her mindset down the stretch.

“The bubble method also gives me more confidence in the continuation of our season and that everyone will remain healthy,” Wilhoit said. 

As the Baker cross country teams head into their bubble, the sacrifices they make will continue in order to run at the conference. The goal of all sports teams during the pandemic is to limit exposure as much as possible. 

Liam Barnsby, a senior on the men’s cross country team, talked about the comparisons of this bubble to his daily activities.

“For me, the bubble is essential for our preparation at this time. It’s the same as focusing on hydration, eating good and running consistently,” Barnsby said. 

Barnsby stressed some potential concerns with the bubble, but it was more about the reason why they bubbled in the first place. 

“It only takes one person to wipe out a team and right now we are less than 2 weeks away so there is no room for mistakes,” Barnsby explained. 

This decision of bubbling comes after several teams have had to miss meets in the conference due to quarantine. With the fall season winding down, the Wildcats feel like it’s time to make a sacrifice in order to compete at conference. 

The Baker Wildcats cross country teams are taking an unprecedented approach that may ensure the safety of its athletes in a better way. The conference championships are just around the corner and the Wildcats are willing to use any approach in order to stay healthy.

“No one is completely safe until the gun goes off. That’s why everyone has to do their part now to ensure a full team is competing,” Barnsby said. 

The Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship will take place on November 7 with Baker University hosting. The meet is scheduled to take place in Baldwin City at 11 a.m.