The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Winter weather delays spring sports

    The first day of spring has come and gone. Unfortunately for many spring sports teams at UW-Eau Claire, winter is still clinging to
    the grounds.

    Bollinger Fields continue to be unusable for a variety of teams, including intramurals.

    Student Services Program Manager Troy Terhark said the fields are still covered with a foot of snow and then there’s ice underneath the snow.

    “I’m not exactly sure when the end is in sight,” he said.

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    Terhark said they have been in contact with the city, who is experiencing the same thing. The turf field at Carson Park is still as hard as blacktop, even after having plowed the fields.

    He said UW-Stout and UW-Stevens Point are encountering many of the same problems and even though schools like UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Platteville received less snow than Eau Claire did, they’re still struggling to make their facilities available as well.

    “Everything is ready to move outside at this time of year and no one’s able to,” he said. “So that’s been frustrating, but it’s been something that we all have to share. All you have to do is look outside and you can understand it’s just not quite ready.”

    They’re working with the city right now to figure out when Gelein Fields will be available for the softball team, who are hosting the NCAA championship game this year over the weekend of May 18.

    Softball head coach Leslie Huntington said it has been frustrating, but the main way to stay focused is to not acknowledge that frustration.

    “There’s always frustration, but the key is that we don’t show it,” she said. “I’m sure the players are frustrated with it, the coaches are certainly frustrated with it, but walking into the gym for practice and being frustrated isn’t going to help us either, so we just have to say ‘Hey, we’re just going to make the most of it, do the best we can and it is what it is.’” Bollinger

    She agreed with Terhark about other people encountering the same issues, citing not only the entire Chippewa Valley as a trouble area, but also other organizations throughout campus.

    “It’s not just us, it’s so many users,” Hungtington said. “And I think that everybody understands that, and everybody is doing the best they can to make the situation better. I’d appreciate Mother Nature a lot more if she’d just buckle down and get this taken care of.”

    Vice President and captain of the women’s rugby team Justine Wypych said the unavailability of their pitch at Bollinger Fields has caused issues, but overall it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    “It just absolutely sucks,” she said. “It’s a big setback to have to rearrange all of the plans we had in place. But regardless, I know that it’ll all work out in the end.”

    Terhark said April 15 is the “soft date” for when teams like rugby, soccer, softball and others as well as various intramurals will be able to again use the outdoor facilities.

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    Winter weather delays spring sports