Dawood Alohaly enjoyed training with his powerlifting team for Kent State until COVID-19 forced his team members to condition on their own.

The pandemic has forced student athletes to take further precautions and be as safe as they can. 

Alohaly is a junior international student athlete from Saudi Arabia studying marketing. He is also on the school’s powerlifting team.

Dawood Alohali

Dawood Alohaly is on the powerlifting team at KSU.

Without gyms being open because of COVID-19 guidelines, the team could not train or condition regularly and had to train individually.

“Powerlifting is more of an individual sport than a team sport, but COVID really messed the team up,” he said.

Because of COVID-19, Alohaly went back home to Saudi Arabia and was stuck in isolation for 10 months, making him ineligible for nationals.

“I couldn’t train for months because everything was closed for mandatory quarantining,” he said. 

Alohaly contracted COVID-19 over four months ago. After recovery, he could not condition as much as he used to because of the long-lasting symptoms of the virus.

“Consistency is key when it comes to a sport like powerlifting,” Alohaly said. “Without the training, it is hard to compete for the sport.”

COVID-19 impacted Alohaly’s performance and ability to train in the long run. He said it’s getting better because the gyms are open and he can condition. Also, Alohaly is currently prepping for collegiate nationals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Similar to the powerlifting team, the Kent State’s football team took a major hit from coronavirus.

The football team got hit with COVID-19 the last week of the season and it heavily affected the team’s performance.

Mason Isaac is a freshman entrepreneurship major and plays defensive end for Kent State’s football team. Isaac did not get COVID-19 himself, but said the pandemic impacted the team’s overall performance.

The team had to forfeit their last two games because of a big COVID-19 outbreak which caused their roster to decrease in number. 

With these changes, the football team is required to log all their symptoms during practice and get their temperatures taken every day.

“Team meetings aren’t the same. We split into groups which makes it feel less like a team effort,” Isaac said.

Jon Solomon is a junior marketing major and has been on the school’s track team for two years. 

Solomon said life is not much different since the pandemic broke out, with the exception of the mask requirement.

Jon Solomon

Jon Solomon (left) and Justin Dwyer (right) during track practice.

Solomon contracted COVID-19 months earlier but recovered quickly with no long-lasting problems. “It wasn’t that bad because I didn’t have any respiratory issues; I just lost my taste and smell,” he said. “I got back up to speed really quick.”

The school’s track team does not take social distancing restrictions lightly and requires the team to take additional precautions during practices.

Solomon and the team get tested every Tuesday and Thursday before 11 a.m. “Track is a team sport,” he said. “If we don’t get tested or fill out our screening evaluation, we cannot practice.” 

Practicing is important if athletes want to succeed during the pandemic.

“At the end of the day, you can’t get sick if you want to compete,” Solomon said.

Camryn Kocher is a student life reporter. Contact her at ckocher5@kent.edu.

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