Harvard students are innately busy people. Whether it is involvement in research or drama or a varsity sport, students at the College invariably have numerous commitments. Many students play varsity sports, committing seasons or years to one game or race they love.
For a few Harvard students, though, one sport is not enough. A select few multi-sport athletes, like senior Aisha Price, who plays water polo and soccer, and junior Damani Wilson, who plays football and runs track, have chosen to juggle their time and extend their talents to two arenas.
They would have it no other way.
“It is all I have ever known,” Wilson says. “From the time I was nine years old, track season was football’s offseason and vice versa.”
Even though Harvard sports can fly under the national radar, every sport competes at or near the highest level, often playing the top schools across the country.
Most sports require commitments on six, even seven days a week throughout their seasons. In addition, athletes train multiple times per week through the offseason, with some days requiring multiple training sessions.
“Sometimes I end up making three trips across the river in a single day,” Wilson says. “During the week things can get really hectic sometimes when you combine two sports with my academic responsibilities. ”
In order to compete in two sports, these athletes must give up on the offseason time, sometimes jumping right into the next season.
“Soccer is in the fall and water polo is in the spring,” Price says. “I have that winter season to train for water polo again. Then in the summer I prepare for soccer.”
Certain sports, such as girl’s lacrosse and field hockey, are conducive to dual athletes. Junior Jen Hatfield currently plays goalie on both squads.
Track and field, a year-round sport, has multiple dual-sport athletes other than Wilson. Junior Andrew Ezekoye is also a member of the track and football teams. One of their teammates, junior Connor McCarthy, is also a forward on the soccer team.
While players like Price enjoy a few months of offseason prep, other two-sporters have no lag time at all. Wilson, for example, jumps right from football into track, a year-long commitment.
Conflicts sometimes arise when the sports are training simultaneously, as athletes must decide where to devote their limited time.
“I committed to Harvard to be a football player only, so when there is a conflict between the two I make sure to be at all football events,” Wilson says. “The coaches of both programs are clear and understanding about this.”
Wilson’s decision to join the track team did not come until his sophomore year.
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