SALT LAKE CITY — Track and field teams were already onsite in New Mexico for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, including the BYU program, when news broke Thursday that the NCAA was canceling all winter and spring NCAA championships, effective immediately, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That forced athletes and coaches alike to deal with the emotion of having their season end prematurely while at the host venue. It also left the opportunity for these competitors to rally around each other.
FloTrack captured such a moment as Diljeet Taylor, BYU’s associate director of cross country and track and field, encouraged, coached and supported six of the Cougars’ athletes after they heard the news.
“I’m proud of you guys. You fought. You guys were here for each other,” Taylor told her athletes as she went around the semicircle giving each of them a hug. Among her other words of encouragement, Taylor said, “Just know that it’s a special year, no one can take this. And something good’s going to come out of this. ... Don’t give up on those dreams. They’re just delayed a little bit.”
Distance runner Courtney Wayment, who helped the Cougars finish No. 2 at the cross country nationals last fall under Taylor’s leadership, shared her appreciation for her coach and teammates on social media.
A remarkable team and remarkable coach. Glad to call this program my home and sisterhood. I'm especially proud of my incredible teammates who have I watched day in and day out stay committed to their dreams, even when there are things beyond their control. What incredible women. https://t.co/zhjj1u2eiZ— Courtney Wayment (@CourtsASport20) March 12, 2020
Taylor extended her coaching and support on Twitter as well.
In this moment of disbelief for what we lost, it’s important to remember the great things that have happened this season. For ALL my women. The sacrifices, humility, loyalty, passion, determination, success and failures have molded us as humans. Growth is what life is about. https://t.co/NH4vGxoQFZ— Diljeet Dosanjh Taylor (@ddosanjhtaylor) March 13, 2020