UNO student-athlete mourns end of sports season



Harrison Charles Coleman, a track-and-field athlete at UNO poses for a photoshoot. Coleman was looking forward to the rest of his junior season as a hurdles runner before the COVID-19 outbreak cut the collegiate athletics season short.

Daniel Cardenez

While everyone is being pushed to practice social distancing by staying indoors, one UNO student-athlete continues to connect with the thing COVID-19 took away from him— his sport.

 Harrison Charles Coleman, a junior track-and-field athlete at the University of New Orleans, UNO, was devastated after the National Collegiate Athletic Association cancelled all competitions for the rest of the spring season, due to the coronavirus, but he doesn’t see this as the end.

 “I am still training as much as possible just to stay active during times like this where I have nothing else to do,” said Coleman.

While cases around the state were increasing, Coleman said he did not think COVID-19 would be affecting UNO or his track career.

“I remember being called into a meeting with the rest of my track team and our coach telling us how we had a good season and he was super proud of us. I was confused because we had just got into outdoor season and I was wondering why he’s congratulating us so early,” said Coleman. “The room just dropped quiet.”

A tweet on March 12 from the NCAA stated, “this decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”

 Coleman and his teammates at UNO were looking forward to competing this season, but he said he understands the severity of the situation.

I think it’s unfair. However, I have to take in consideration the seriousness of this illness that’s taking over right now. So, it is super important that I and my teammates stay safe,” said Coleman.

Coleman had big goals for his junior season and was hoping to help his team go farther than they had ever been as a group.

“My main goal this season was winning my conference championships for the 400-meter hurdles and then going to the NCAA regional level to compete for the first time,” said Coleman.

Prior to his junior season, Coleman placed fourth his freshman year at the Southland Conference Championships for track-and-field in both the 400-meter hurdles and the 110-meter hurdles. Coleman was the only person who scored for his team in what was only his first year competing on the collegiate level. 

Coleman is trying to take his mind off of the COVID-19 epidemic and the fact that it took away the rest of his his junior season.  

“All that training from August till then had gone down the drain,” Coleman said.

The athlete is currently training rigorously to not only prepare for next season, but to also stay in shape during quarantine.