Fittingly, Maddy Trevisan was on a run when she heard the news in March.
Her senior year was on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world was going to look a whole lot different when she could compete again.
“That was a roller coaster of so many changes happening at once,” Trevisan, now a fifth-year senior, said. “So when we got official news that the season was canceled, at that point, nothing was really surprising anymore.”
Soon after they held a team meeting where the coaches said that athletes could go home if they wanted. It was during that meeting, sitting there with her teammates and coaches for what might’ve been the last time, when Trevisan started to think about her future with the program and whether or not to come back.
“I think it made me realize how much I loved it and how important it was,” Trevisan said. “Realizing that a part of me wasn’t ready to be done with that, knowing this is the only time in my life that I’ll have to train with my team, my family, and be a college athlete.”
So she decided to come back for one last chance, for a fifth and final year while pursuing a master’s in design science.
The summer was one full of training and waiting around for news about the fall. But as the months went on, Trevisan knew the cross country season might not look like the one she’d hoped for. When the official word finally came out that there would be no fall sports at Michigan, or anywhere in the Big Ten for that matter, things started to look even more bleak.
But there was one key difference between this fall and the spring. This time around there were precautions in place that allowed the team to still practice together.
“For me, obviously I wanted another shot at cross country,” Trevisan said. “But just the fact that we’re still able to come together at 3:30 every day and practice together, and no matter what, use this chance to get better and be together. And in that aspect I don’t regret (coming back for a fifth year) at all, because my favorite part of every day is being with my teammates and coach.”
And without races every weekend, Trevisan and her teammates have even come to enjoy the flexibility that this different type of season has brought. Some are running more mileage, and some are hitting workouts harder all without the fear of it hampering their racing.
Trevisan knows this won’t last forever, and she’s looking ahead to her future. She interned at Nike the past two summers, and even passed up a job offer from them to return to school this fall. Trevisan will know later this month if Nike is able to offer her a full-time position again when she graduates from the master’s program.
Until then, she’ll focus on savoring the time she has left with her teammates. And she’s perfectly content with that.
“The working world will always be there,” Trevisan said. “But being at Michigan, on my team, is something that won’t be. So, for me that felt like the right choice and I’m so, so happy that I have the opportunity. And, even though this year is so uncertain, the one thing that is constant is being able to train with my girls.”