Erin Bauslaugh understands the rigors that come with competing in track and field.
Yet, the rising senior at Delaware Christian wishes she could have been out there with her teammates for her junior season, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"Track is kind of one of those things where you love it and you hate it," Bauslaugh said. "The workouts seem to be intense sometimes, but your friends are what make track. And bonding with other schools is kind of what makes track. So since that's kind of been taken away, you kind of see how much more you love it than hate it. And I wish more than anything I was being run by my coach right now."
Bauslaugh made back-to-back Division III regional appearances in the long jump, placing 10th (15 feet, 8 inches) as a freshman and 12th (15-3 3/4) as a sophomore, and was striving to reach the state meet as a junior.
"I was really looking forward to the long jump. That's probably my favorite event," said Bauslaugh, who also competes in the 100 meters and occasionally in the 200 and the shot put. "I've been training for the long jump, so I'm ready for that."
Also a setter and right-side hitter for the girls volleyball team, Bauslaugh was somewhat disappointed with her regional performance last year. As a senior, she intends to maintain a different mindset.
"My freshman year, it was my first time at regionals and I was very excited. I really had no fear, nothing to lose, really," she said. "So my sophomore year, I kind of had expectations and I was betting really high on myself. I had been practicing so hard. I think I just kind of forgot to have fun.
"My first jump, I jumped off the wrong foot. My second jump, I mixed up my stuff. So it kind of all boils down to the fact that I kind of forgot that I needed to let loose, I needed to have fun. I need to be reminded that I have jumped a thousand times and that this time wasn't any different."
Bauslaugh said she's had various role models and people she's looked up to in her life. She said that includes her mother, Jamie Bauslaugh, as well as Eagles girls volleyball coach Jackie Boggs and 2020 Delaware Christian graduate Lyssi Snouffer.
As a senior, Bauslaugh plans to assume a leadership role with her younger teammates in both volleyball and track.
"I think every year I've had great people to look up to, because I'm very much a see-and-learn type of person," she said. "So I think my senior year, wherever I may go, I think this year is just about being the best I can be so that younger kids have an example to look up to."
Eagles track coach Mike Gregory expects Bauslaugh to have a strong senior season.
"Erin has a ton of potential," Gregory said. "Unfortunately, I did not get to work with her this year due to track being canceled, but I think she can make waves in the 100 and long jump if she will put her mind to it. She is a great teammate and brings a great attitude each and every day. We are looking to her to lead our up-and-coming underclassmen next season."