Pomona-Pitzer cancels some athletic events over coronavirus concerns

Pomona's blue Strehle Track.
Overnight travel for Pomona-Pitzer sports teams is being cut back in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the P-P athletic department announced Tuesday. (Courtesy: P-P Athletics).

Overnight travel for Pomona-Pitzer sports teams is being cut back in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the P-P athletic department announced Tuesday.

Aside from the swimmers and divers who qualified for the NCAA championship meet and the men’s basketball team, which is traveling to Illinois to compete in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament Saturday, all overnight travel — both driving and flying — is canceled through at least April 18, assistant athletic director Ayanna Tweedy said in an email to P-P athletes.

“Opportunities beyond that date will be closely monitored in the weeks to come and follow college guidelines for possible ongoing restrictions for non-essential travel,” Tweedy said.

At a minimum, the women’s golf team and the men’s tennis team will be affected by the new rule. The team was set to compete at three tournaments this month, in Arizona, Georgia and Pacific Grove in Northern California.

“We were all looking forward to traveling together and competing,” said Gabby Herzig PO ’21, a member of the Sagehen golf team. “Overall, our team is very uncertain about what we will do going forward and how we will be able to salvage our season. I think it’s especially disappointing for upperclassmen, who know that this is … one of their last opportunities to participate in collegiate athletics.”

Teams’ day trips to local competitions will continue unabated, Tweedy said, and games hosted on campus will also be allowed to proceed — with some exceptions. On Monday, Pomona College announced it was canceling all public events, as well as meetings with greater than 100 attendees, including athletic events.

That means the track team’s annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational in April, which routinely draws hundreds of athletes from dozens of schools across NCAA divisions, is canceled, Tweedy said. 

Sagehen men’s tennis player Jonathan Miller PO ’20 said players were told by their coach that the March 20-21 Stag-Hen Invitational, a tennis tournament played at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Biszantz Tennis Complex that routinely draws top Division III teams, is also canceled for now.

All home sports events are also now closed to those not part of the 7C community, including parents, Tweedy said.

“We ask for your support and understanding as we manage what is a dynamic and challenging situation for everyone here in Claremont,” Tweedy said.

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