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Coming into her first year of college, freshman Sydney Delp decided to play both bas­ketball and tennis at the Division II level, all in addition to aca­d­emics and tran­si­tioning into college life. Freshmen Todd Frickey and Alissa Jones both decided to pick up track events alongside their year-round con­di­tioning and par­tic­i­pation in football and swimming, respec­tively. Along with the course loads of full time stu­dents, they maintain physical con­di­tioning and train for two sports.

“In Division III schools it is a fairly regular occur­rence to have stu­dents in more than one sport. In Division II it is less so, but still some of it there, and with track and field ath­letes it can work really well,” women’s swim coach Kirt Kurner said. “I look at it as a great cross-training; getting other training and con­di­tioning expe­ri­ences is very useful.”

Gen­erally, stu­dents will double up with track as a sec­ondary sport, which is pursued during the off season of another sport, such as football or swimming.

“There’s obvi­ously going to be some dif­fi­culty, but it is some­thing I enjoy, and though it is dif­ficult I have the oppor­tunity to do both sports and I really enjoy and appre­ciate the special ability to do both,” Frickey said.

Delp takes on two sports with schedules that line up fairly well and pri­or­i­tizes according to games instead of by one sport over the other.

“I like to con­sider that I am fully com­mitted to two teams, and when it comes down to it, I just pref­erence game over practice,” Delp said. “When I was ini­tially being recruited one of the most attractive parts of Hillsdale College was the ability to play both tennis and bas­ketball. It is so fan­tastic for the coaches to allow me to do both, and I really appre­ciate the oppor­tunity.”

While the school does allow stu­dents to par­tic­ipate in more than one sport, the dis­cretion falls greatly on the coaches.

“I think that every coach that allows their athlete to compete in another sport would still expect them to be ded­i­cated to the phi­losophy of the sport and be training in that sport,” Kirner said. “There would be an under­standing that they would keep their adherence to their primary sport’s policies and training.”

Stu­dents par­tic­i­pating in mul­tiple sports tend to arrange their schedules so that they have only one sport fully active at a time, in accor­dance with the NCAA rules, which state that any given athlete can play for only 20 hours each week. In order not to slack in either sport, the ath­letes must com­mu­nicate greatly with the coaches between the two teams.

“I sat down with the coaches at the beginning of the semester and talked about what I am expected to do, and in each sport I got com­mu­ni­cation going so it would work out, and since I am not the first football player to run track, I have some sort of schedule already in mind,” Frickey said. “For example, right now I am in indoor track, so on Mondays I do track and the football workouts in the afternoon and the football workouts the rest of the week. In the spring I will probably still do track once or twice a week, but with my focus on football I will be doing more football workouts.”