Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 27, 2018

GRuuska swim

During the winter, senior English major Guerby Ruuska enjoys swimming with his team. Once spring begins, he can be found representing MU in track and field. 

Anjel Soccer 2

Senior digital communications major Anjel Clemente can be found at the track, field or pool as a three-sport athlete.

Photos provided

Multisport Athletes Give It Their All

Emily Ryder


The Manchester University fall sports are quickly coming to an end and numerous athletes are wrapping up their fall sport seasons. However, there are a few multisport athletes who may never go out of season.

Guerby Ruuska, a senior English major who is on the swim team as well as the track team talks about the challenges and pleasures of being a multisport athlete for Manchester University. “The biggest is that there isn’t really any off time from sports,” he said. “You go from one sport to the other. It’s hard to not have that off season while other athletes do.

“Another challenge,” he continued, “is how sports overlap. For example, once I join track after swimming, my teammates are already pretty far into the season and I am having to adapt and get the hang of things and it can be very stressful and challenging thing to do.”

However, Ruuska argues that multiple sports foster benefits. “The pleasures are simply that fact that you get another opportunity to represent your school through another sport,” he said. “I wear the Spartan head on my cap in the water and then I get to rep Manchester on my chest on the track. It’s all about school pride and knowing that you’re making a differences in several ways.”

Anjel Clemente, also a senior and member of the soccer, swim, and track team, notes that time management can be a challenge. “Playing three sports and also trying to be involved in clubs and committees as well as maintain somewhat of a social life and keep up with friends, is difficult,” he said. “So finding a good balance between all of them is probably the hardest part because all of those are of my top priority.”

On the other hand, Clemente said that his favorites of being a multiple sport athlete include the “diversity” of people he meets. “I have made an immense amount of friends during my time playing sports and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible people as well as coaches,” he said. “Also, experiencing the different styles of coaching is something amazing.”

Nick Tillmann, a sophomore and member of the football and baseball team agrees that time management can be challenging. “One week I would be more focused on baseball or football depending on the sport than school and it would be really difficult to complete school assignments on top of workouts and trying to keep up,” he said.

But he acknowledges as a positive all of the people he has met through football and baseball. “These sports have presented me with lifelong friends who will a have potential impact on the success of my career,” he said.

Additionally, Jake Johnson, also a sophomore and member of the football and track teams, said: “I had to balance the two sports because during both seasons, the other had meetings and practices that were hard to make.” Still, the challenges were worth it. “I got to meet more people on campus that I might not have met before,” he said.

Some first-years are also learning how to play multiple sports while thriving as a student. “I’m excited to be a part of two team bonds but, I’m worried about maintaining the previous sport friendships and balancing time management between sports and potentially double majoring,” said Bridget Nash, member of the soccer and basketball teams.

Michael Laws, also a first-year, stated: “I’m not too nervous because the coaches are really understanding and know that a lot of athletes are balancing more than one sport but I can see trying to balance both sports with schoolwork might be challenging.” He’s undaunted, though. “I’m looking forward to competing and forming multiple friends,” he said.

While there are several challenges that multisport athletes face, there are also countless pleasures such as forming friendships and team bonds that shape the way many athletes feel about playing a sport for Manchester University as well as representing their school.