For North Carolina swim team captain Emma Cole, this is the most time spent away from the pool since she was a young girl.
With club teams shut down and local YMCAs closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, she and her teammates have been unable to get back in the water to train. The NCAA men’s and women’s championships were supposed to take place during the last two weeks of March, but, like most other athletic events, they were canceled.
“We were at the pool practicing, and then they pulled us out of the water and told us that we were not gonna be able to go to NCAAs, and we were very upset," Cole, a junior, said. "I mean, everyone just immediately felt bad for the seniors."
“This season was really special for us because we have a new coach, and we kind of attacked it this year with ‘We have something to prove,’ and ‘This is our year to show everyone what Carolina is about,’" she continued. "And that final chance (this season) to get our name on the map got taken from us."
The hiatus means that the team doesn’t have anything to train for. Head coach Mark Gangloff noted that this is typically a pretty slow time for the program anyway. As a result, Gangloff said he wants to take training pretty slowly for now.