By Kristin Troyer – Horizon Features Editor
Maybe Hesston students are just fragile? You have to wonder, considering the recent number of injured athletes on campus, with afflictions ranging from dislocated fingers to torn ACLs.
Freshman Monica Plank, one of several injured members of the cross country team, has a fibular stress fracture and has been in a boot for the last four weeks. Plank is restricted from running but is able to cross train by cycling and swimming.
As to what caused the injury, she isn’t sure.
“My guess is that the changes in training, surfaces, or shoes may have been at the root.”
Freshman soccer player Will Mendez has already been on crutches twice this season, both times for ankle sprains.
“My ankle was already weak from an opponent stepping on it, and then one of my teammates stepped on it in practice,” Mendez said.
The first time he was on crutches and in a boot for three days. The second sprain put him out for four. Will isn’t the only player on the team who’s been hurt; in one game, six players on the men’s soccer team were out with injuries. But, there is a reason for this.
College athletic trainer Megan Fowler says that injuries can vary year to year since every season is different. She also explained that there usually is a 2-3 week period during the season where the amount of athletes needing treatment a day peaks, which explains the amount of walking boots, slings, and crutches seen around campus lately.
“Injuries we see most commonly are overuse injuries, such as shin splints, rotator cuff tendonitis, hip flexor tendonitis…” Fowler said.
Fowler noted several ways for an athlete to avoid injury: off-season training, core strengthening, and flexibility stretching.
“Core strength and flexibility go hand-in-hand,” Fowler said. “The weaker the core, the less flexible the body will be.”