Dual sport athletes: why do people compete on two teams?

By Miranda Parrish

Elm Staff Writer

When choosing a college, there are various aspects for people to be drawn to different schools. The strength of programs, school size and social life, as well as sports are all factors that prospective students choose from.

Sophomore swim and sailor Grayson Wright, junior swim and sailor Kennedy Jones and senior soccer and lacrosse player Ellie Morrall are all dual sport athletes at Washington College. They were all attracted to and recruited by WC.

“I was recruited to swim here, but I decided to walk onto the sailing team and instantly fell in love with the sport,” said Wright.

While many students stopped playing sports or don’t play at the College, deciding whether to continue playing sports in college is something that many students everywhere have to choose.

“Both my parents played in college, so it was always a dream of mine. My mom was an all-American field hockey player at Denison and talked about how amazing being a college athlete was. My parents definitely inspired my desire to play four more years,” Morrall said.

While a significant population of students at the College play a sport, there are only several that are dual sport athletes, but the athletes struggle with the conflict of each sport’s season.

“Sailing runs through November and then February to May. For sailing we are typically gone at 3 p.m. on Friday through 10 p.m. on Sunday, and travel as far south as Charleston and as far north as Boston. Swim runs September through February, so the overlap is difficult. Thankfully, I have coaches who are supportive and allow me to focus on the sport that is at the height of its competitive season. This past weekend I concluded sailing for the season and jumped headfirst into swimming,” said Jones.

Throughout the juggling of seasons, Jones, Wright and Morrall all agree that each team challenged them in different ways while allowing them to grow.

Jones contrasted the two sports sailing is a team effort between you and your partner, while swimming is a more individualized sport where you compete against yourself and those around you. Although it is a higher workload, she truly enjoys being a part of both teams.

“Both of my teams have changed me as a person, and I’ve found that my teammates have become some of my closest friends at Washington College, they are mentors, role models and classmates,” said Wright. According to Wright, the teams he participates on provide a wider network of peers that he would otherwise not have.

“My teammates are so special to me and have helped me in so many ways. They have been there for me in some of the most difficult times of my life. Their support and thoughtfulness I am beyond grateful for. I feel so lucky that [the College] brought me these people who will be close friends for the rest of my life,” Morrall said.

Even if a sport is demanding, it is clear that those who take on two love the competition and adore those who they get to compete with.

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