Senior Student-Athletes Finds a Successful Season’s End

Mali Petersonwood standing with an action portrait of herself on the field.

The student-athletes at Lewis & Clark commit themselves to countless hours of training for their sports outside of their academic lives. They are responsible for participating in practices, games, strength training and conditioning both on-season and off. For most sports, they are even required to follow a lifting and conditioning regime during the summer. Considering this, seniors may find themselves with more free time than they have grown accustomed to when they finish their final seasons.

Volleyball athlete Hannah Robles ’19 explained that she appreciates having more freedom to plan her own day this semester.

“Having more free time is really nice,” Robles said. “I enjoy not having so much structure every day and I don’t feel as rushed going throughout my days. I can go to class and work out on my own time. I’m able to focus on my school work and have a lot more time to hang out with my friends during my last semester here.”

Soccer player Mali PetersonWood ’19 mentioned that since the end of her senior season she has involved herself more in other avenues.

“I believe I am just as busy, if not busier than I was during my last season of soccer at LC,” PetersonWood said. “I volunteer with the Blazers Boys and Girls Club in North East Portland, I work on the weekends and, in between all that, I am raising an eight-month-old golden retriever.”

PetersonWood has also used her newfound freedom to take on a heavier course load than she has previously.

“Contrary to many of my friends, my course load is not as ‘light’ as I would have liked my last semester of college” PetersonWood said. “Due to a severe concussion I sustained in my first semester of college, I was forced to take 17 credits (this semester) to graduate on time.”

Yet despite her heavy course load and other commitments, she mentioned that she is still devoted to exercising and has even set new goals for herself.

“I decided in December that I was going to commit to running my first half marathon, so that has motivated me to stay in shape,” PetersonWood said. “It’s a different kind of training than I’m used to — much more mental and just overall a great deal more running.”

Some senior athletes find themselves still discovering new ways to be involved with their sport programs. Football player Maka Ah Loo ’19 explained the ways in which he has used his extra time to help benefit the football team.

“Now that my senior season for LC is finished, I am still currently working with the football team as an assistant coach and I am working with Coach Ange (Dendas-Pleasant) as a strength and conditioning intern,” Ah Loo said. “So I am still very involved with sports, I just get to be involved from a different perspective.”

Similarly to PetersonWood, Ah Loo shared that because of these additional activities, he finds that he still continues to struggle with managing his time.

“Honestly now that I am helping to coach and also interning, I do not have a lot of free time,” Ah Loo said. “With balancing coaching and training athletes and still trying to do my schoolwork, it gets pretty challenging, but it is something that I feel will help me tremendously in my future.”

Despite this, Ah Loo shared that by involving himself with the program, he is able to continue his routine of working out and doing what he is passionate about.

“As far as staying in shape, by helping with practices for football I am still getting to run around a little bit and help the athletes with drills, and for my internship, I am constantly in the weight room setting weights up and demonstrating lifts,” Ah Loo said. “I also spend most of my free time in the weight room doing strength training and other types of cardio, as working out was one of my favorite aspects of being an athlete.”

Although one might assume that athletes have an abundance of free time after the end of their season, it is clear that they enjoy spending it by involving themselves in other activities outside of simply being a student.

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