Jaindl plans to stay for final season at Moravian
Like many student-athletes at both the college and high school levels, the coronavirus pandemic affected the athletic career of Greg Jaindl. The 2016 Emmaus High School graduate lost the outdoor schedule of his senior track and field season.
However, unlike many other senior student-athletes, Jaindl plans to use his extra year of eligibility to work toward his future career path and compete at Moravian College again next spring.
That’s not to say that when news of the spring sports seasons being canceled by the NCAA came out on March 13 that he wasn’t upset, but he knew he had a plan.
“I was actually down in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to watch my teammate who had qualified for the NCAA Division III National meet,” said Jaindl. “We were at the hotel room when the news broke that the remaining NCAA championships for winter and spring sports would be canceled. The way things were going that week with the COVID-19 virus shutting down a lot of big events, I was almost expecting that [Division 3] would do the same. It was still a big shock though when it happened. My heart ached for the athletes that had qualified for the national meet and now would not be able to compete. I felt terrible for the seniors who just had their seasons cut short, and the next steps were so unclear. Everything was just in a standstill.”
A few weeks after the news, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to spring senior athletes. Jaindl happily accepted the offer from head coach Jesse Baumann to return to the track next spring, where his main event is the steeplechase. He will also be furthering his education at Moravian as well.
“In May, I will graduate with a major in health sciences, and will be continuing my education in the masters program of athletic training at Moravian,” Jaindl said. “It is a two-year program that starts in late May, and I am excited for my future as an athletic trainer. I hope to work on the collegiate level, since that is where my interests lay. Also, since I retain my eligibility for the outdoor season, I will be able to keep competing as a Greyhound in the spring for outdoor track. After hearing about the season being canceled, coach Baumann and I talked and although I wish it was still this season to go out with my fellow seniors, I am thankful I get another season. I hope to make it to the third outdoor NCAA championship, and finish off a very good career at Moravian.”
Jaindl’s season ended just a few days prior on March 7, at the All-Atlantic Region Indoor Championships at Nazareth College. He ran a 4:20.83 mile, placing sixth and just missing out on qualifying for nationals. Having the time now to reflect on his four years as a Greyhound has made him realize that he made the right decision when he chose the Bethlehem school.
“I am really lucky to have such a good program and school to compete for athletically,” said Jaindl. “I chose Moravian because I really connected with coach Baumann. He kept everything very real with me, and did not try and sugarcoat anything. Moravian also had an up and coming health sciences program and that fit me academically, and I knew I did not want to stray too far from home so everything seemed to fit perfectly. During my time as an athlete, we won our indoor conference championship all four years, outdoor conference championship the past three years, and in cross country we progressively got better each year to finish ninth in the region.
“It was also an honor to represent Moravian on the national stage at two outdoor NCAA national championships and the cross country NCAA national championship this past season. The entire athletic department would always be following along, and felt great to have some alumni support.”
Some individual accomplishments this past season include second-place finishes in both the 3000 meters and 5000 meters at the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships. He credits a lot of his success to his time as a high school student-athlete.
“The Emmaus program got me ready for college sports in a lot of ways,” Jaindl said. “Some high school kids get overworked because their coaches try to get all of their athletes’ potential out in high school. The Emmaus coaching staff did a great job at realizing there is a progression to go through, and you should really be peaking athletically in college or after.
“The coaches always kept us working hard, and going against really solid competition to prepare for college. Emmaus is also a really strong school academically, and this became evident when I was taking some of my introductory courses at Moravian and I remembered a lot of the material.
“To be able to walk into a college course with confidence because of your academic background from high school is a great feeling, and I think speaks for itself for how well Emmaus prepared me.”
In the classroom, Jaindl has been a member of the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll and the Dean’s List.
“It can definitely be challenging to balance both academics and athletics,” said Jaindl. “It is all about staying on task, creating a plan, and staying in the moment. It is easy to get stressed about the competition for the weekend when you’re sitting in anatomy class, but during that time you should be focused on schoolwork not the weekend’s competition.
“Also, planning when you are going to do your assignments, and trying to stay distraction-free when you’re working on them. That way you can go to bed and get the sleep you need, and take the time to mentally relax. I found it critical to have time to relax or else you can easily overwork yourself.”