Student athletes sprint through Dead Week

The most stressful time of the year is upon Marshall University students; dead week and finals week. For most students, this is already an incredibly tough time. For student-athletes, add in games, meets, practices and training and the time is only tougher.

The weekend in between dead and finals week has competition for three different sports teams at Marshall, in fact the only three teams still in season. The baseball team travels to Norfolk, Virginia for a three-game series with Old Dominion. The softball team will be in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for a series against Middle Tennessee. The track team will compete in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“April and May are the heart of the track season,” junior track runner Samantha Graffius said. “So this time of year is extremely stressful because we have to not only focus on performing well. We have to keep up with our rehab to prevent injuries, which requires extra time in the training room. It’s also important that we are eating right and sleeping enough, which is not ideal for a student during finals week.”

The three teams still competing are no strangers to travel. Between meets, non-conference and conference games and series taking place all over the East Coast, the teams are conditioned to travel.

The track and field has spent four of the past five weekends on the road, traveling to different states such as Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

The baseball team traveled midweek to Morehead, Kentucky and has spent nearly every weekend since late February playing baseball. The team has spent nights in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi over the past month.

The softball team has spent recent weekends in Virginia, Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. Much like the baseball team, the softball team has been going nearly nonstop since February.

“With practice and games means less time to study for finals, but it really hasn’t been that stressful because we’re used to it,” sophomore softball player Abigail Estrada said. “Since the beginning of February, we’ve been traveling, had practice before class and missed class for our games so we have had to get ahead on our assignments and tests. It’s something we’ve managed to do since the season began.”

The three teams still in season will still compete after school is out, with the Conference USA Championships for track, baseball and softball each occurring in mid to late May.

Patrick O’Leary can be contacted at [email protected]