Athletics staff working overtime to keep competitions flowing smoothly amid storms

The harsh conditions of recent rainstorms pose a serious challenge to P-P and CMS sports teams. (Amy Best • The Student Life)

It doesn’t rain often in Claremont, but when it does, it quite literally pours.

Last weekend, Southern California was hit by abnormally cold weather and a massive rainstorm that caused streams and puddles of water to dot the 5Cs.

For ill-prepared Californians, rain means wet clothes and an urge to binge-watch shows while bundled underneath blankets. But for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer athletic programs, rainy weather can cause slippery fields. Chilly temperatures tighten muscles and increase likelihood for injury.

Enter Aaron Becker, Pomona-Pitzer’s assistant athletic director for operations and events, whose role becomes especially critical when the downpour starts. Becker communicates with coaches and staff for athletic needs and oversees events both outside and inside of P-P’s Rains Center.

“The rain interrupts things, but it doesn’t make the job any harder,” Becker said of last week’s rainstorm.

Given the harsh conditions, practices for baseball, softball and tennis were moved inside. Becker said that although these athletes did not get to practice on the diamond or court, they continued to train through other activities, like jogging, weightlifting or practicing fundamental skills for their respective sports.

On Feb. 2, P-P women’s tennis was scheduled to compete against Occidental College, and swim and dive was scheduled for a meet against Caltech. Becker made the call to move the tennis matches to Feb. 7, as the rain was falling too hard to compete.

Although tennis had to reschedule, eventually winning its postponed opening match 9-0, swimming and diving carried on in Claremont. The heated swimming pool at the Haldeman facility reduced the physical impact that the cold weather had on athletes, allowing the P-P team to compete against Caltech Feb. 2. CMS did the same against Cal Lutheran and La Verne at Axelrood Pool.

On that same day, Roberts Pavilion sprung a leak, forcing the postponement of a CMS women’s basketball game against La Verne, briefly halting the continuation of the Athenas’ then 14-game winning streak. Lucky for CMS, the team was able to pick up where it left off just a few days later.

“I think [the rain is] more of an annoyance for everyone,” Becker said. “Everyone is eager to go back and continue playing their sports, and the rain prevents them from doing that.”

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