Dreams on Hold

By David Fawcett

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted two Haymarket athletes’ sports seasons

Samantha Spink 

Spink sees benefits in delaying Olympic Trials

Battlefield's Camille Spink reacts to her record-setting time in winning the 200-yard freestyle event at the 2020 Region 6B Swim & Dive Championship held at the PWCS Aquatics Center in Manassas on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.

 Camille Spink was honest with herself. If the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials occurred as scheduled in June, the Battlefield High School freshman had no expectation of qualifying for the Olympics the following month.

At this point in her career, Spinks was content with the chance to participate in the trials, enjoy the experience, and do her best in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

But with the Olympics postponed for a year, Spink has extra time to prepare for the trials, which too will be pushed back. That in turn has changed her mindset.

“It’s a more realistic shot,” Spink said of making the Olympic team in 2021. “I will be more serious.”

Spink said she was initially disappointed the Olympics were rescheduled until July 23-Aug. 8, 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But she understood the reasoning for the postponement and sees benefits in the delay.

“It works out,” Spink said. “I’m here with my family and have another year of training.”

Spink qualified for the trials first in the 50 free last June. She competed against swimmers older than she, including college freshmen, but still made the cut in the 15 to 18 age group. Her performance surprised her, but Spink felt more confident in the 100 free, which is her main event. She qualified in the 100 at a meet last August in Indianapolis.

Spink also planned on trying to qualify for the trials in the 200 free, but the meet, scheduled in March, was cancelled.

Spink dominated in her first high school swim season when she set two state records in the 100 (49.18) and the 200 free (1:46.18) to claim titles in both.

With school and pools being closed, Spink has stayed in shape by running and doing other workout exercises. But it’s hard doing it alone.

She’d prefer training with her teammates at the Nation’s Capital Swim Club or laughing at coach Mark Faherty’s jokes.

“He’s the funniest person I know,” Spink said. “I miss him everyday.”

Jake Agnos

 Battlefield grad faced quarantine in Florida

Battlefield HS graduate Jake Agnos (New York Yankees)

 Jake Agnos had never been away from baseball this long. 

But the Battlefield High School graduate had no choice. His first full season as a pro was on hold after he and the other New York Yankees minor-league players had to spend two weeks in quarantine in Tampa, Fla., after one of the players tested positive for the coronavirus.

After Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the minor-leaguers of the first positive test March 15, the players immediately headed to their temporary homes and did the best they could to stay active and entertain themselves. 

For Agnos and his two roommates, Evan Voliva and Josh Smith, that meant quarantining in a rented double-wide Airbnb.

Unable to retrieve their equipment, the trio had to keep themselves busy in other ways.

Agnos took up the ukulele, which belonged to Voliva, a former East Carolina University teammate. Agnos had never played a musical instrument before, but through YouTube instructional videos, he became competent enough to impress even himself with his progress. 

The three also played video games (MLB The Show was the most popular) and posted funny home workout videos to share with others. The self-dubbed Quarantine Workout Challenge included races against ducks and pushing a pickup.

The Yankees provided three meals a day for the players and $75 a day for meal money, up from the standard $25 a day. 

Agnos said his biggest worry wasn’t catching the virus but possibly giving it to others.

Agnos grew concerned when he experienced a loss of smell and taste during the quarantine period. He checked with the Yankees’ head trainer and they both agreed allergies explained Agnos’ condition. 

“The Yankees did a great job of communicating,” said Agnos, who drove back to Haymarket March 28. “And with our age group, we’re in shape. I was not scared of getting it. I didn’t want to pass it along when I got home.” 

About Staff/Contributed 444 Articles
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