Following the cancellation of Tiger Athletics in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, as well as the subsequent cancellations of sports by the NCAA and professional teams, Trinity athletes looked to the 2020-21 school year as a chance to return to the sports they love. Even though the fall brought another semester of cancelled sports, including the NCAA Championships events, many on campus continued to work toward bringing sports back to Trinity.
That hard work finally paid off in 2021, as all 18 of Trinity’s intercollegiate sports competed together in one semester.
Trinity, in conjunction with the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and with guidance and recommendations from the NCAA, built a schedule that allowed Tiger Athletics to come back in a safe and responsible way. At a minimum, each team would have the chance to win a conference title during the spring.
Almost every one of Trinity’s teams competed in regular season competition in the month of February—a first in the history of Tiger Athletics.
While Trinity parents, alumni, and fans were not allowed to come on campus to attend games due to health and safety concerns, the Tiger Network broadcast most of the sports for everyone to keep up with their favorite teams.
Both men’s and women’s basketball got things started with conference play beginning in early January, while other teams got going later in the month. With the exception of men’s and women’s track and field, every one of Trinity’s teams competed in regular season competition in the month of February—a first in the history of Tiger Athletics.
February brought both good and bad news for Tiger teams. The NCAA announced the cancellation of the winter sports championships—a decision that affected basketball and swimming and diving at Trinity. But in a glimmer of good news, the NCAA also announced that student-athletes would not be charged a season of eligibility, meaning that those who want to return can compete as a Tiger again next year.
The second part of the good news came in the form of SCAC Championships. Because the men’s and women’s cross country teams also compete in track and field in the spring, both Tiger teams had to get their conference meet done early in the semester. Trinity’s women’s cross country team captured its fifth overall SCAC Championship on Feb. 6 in Irving, Texas. Jordan Juran was the women’s individual winner with the ninth-fastest time in conference history earning SCAC Runner of the Year honors. Abby Blackwood took the SCAC Newcomer of the Year award with her second-place finish in her first conference cross country meet.
Just a week later, Trinity had two more SCAC Championships to celebrate. The Tiger men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were already set to compete in the conference meet in mid-February, but the cancellation of the postseason meant that the SCAC Championship event would be their only action of the semester. Both teams took full advantage by winning two more conference crowns. The men’s team won its 13th overall SCAC title, while the women won the SCAC meet for the 18th straight year. Mabel Fowler was the SCAC Women’s Swimmer of the Meet for the second straight year, while Katarina Partalas took the SCAC Women’s Diver of the Meet honors. Michael Kohl was the SCAC Men’s Swimmer of the Meet and Anthony Liva repeated as the SCAC Men’s Diver of the Meet.
At the end of both the swimming and diving and cross country championships, the SCAC also handed out the Elite 19 awards, which go to the student-athletes in each conference sport who are considered the best of the best in both athletic and academic achievement. Keaton Holt won the award in men’s cross country for the second straight year, while Anabelle Conde was the honoree for women’s swimming and diving.
While the fate of the NCAA Championships for the spring sports still hangs in the balance as of press time, all of the Tiger teams are doing what they love once again: playing the game.