EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It was over before it really began. The NCAA canceled the remainder of spring sports in March due to COVID-19, effectively ending Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy’s freshman year on the track at the University of Texas.
The former Coronado High School standout was able to compete in cross country and the indoor track & field season for the Longhorns, but was never able to take the track for the outdoor season.
“I was sad at first and didn’t really see the big picture in all of it,” said Jaeger-Darakjy. “I think everyone was on the same boat thinking they were missing so much, just so focused on the present.”
Jaeger-Darakjy has returned home to El Paso at the direction of the University of Texas and she is completing her courses online in a virtual format. She continues to train at a high level knowing what she does now will reflect on the track next fall.
“When you look past the present, you look at the overall and find the silver lining, this could be a blessing in disguise,” said Jaeger-Darakjy. “I have this extra time to put in mileage before cross country season and put in mileage for track that I didn’t get enough of my freshman year.”
The NCAA recently passed legislation that allows for spring sports student-athletes to get a year of eligibility back. Jaeger-Darakjy plans to take advantage of her eligibility relief, meaning she still has four years to compete with the Longhorns.