By MAGGIE WESLEY
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Gabby Skopec was looking forward to her first outdoor season in the Iowa uniform after being injured last year and unable to compete in the spring. With the news of the cancellation of the 2020 outdoor season, the Coralville, Iowa, native has turned her attention to what’s next: making the most of her senior season.
“I was definitely shocked when that happened. It took a few days for it to feel real, but as I was watching the news about what was going on in Italy and other places, it started to make more sense,” said Skopec. “I was disappointed about losing my outdoor season, but I’ve come to terms with it.”
Skopec was working off the momentum of a successful indoor season. At the Black and Gold Invite on Feb. 1, Skopec finished first in the mile in 5:03.38. At the Hawkeye Invite on Jan. 11, she placed second in the 3,000 meters in 10:10.25.
With sports on hold, she is now completing her spring academic semester at home and online. This is her Hawkeye Shakeout.
How is online school going and living near Iowa City?
“Online school has been going ok. It has been an adjustment but once you get in the hang of it and carve out a few hours a day, it’s not too bad. I’ve gone on runs in downtown Iowa City and I was surprised at how quiet it is, especially down by Kinnick Stadium.”
How is training going for you?
“I took a week or two pretty easy, but now I am running almost every day. I take a day off if I feel like I need it. I usually run for about an hour each day sometimes longer depending on the run. Most of my training I do is outside around Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty. I do all my lifting inside.”
What had been your favorite moment from your Hawkeye career?
“One of my favorite memories in my Hawkeye uniform so far was my first indoor meet this season, the Hawkeye Invite. I ran in the 3k and ran a big PR, like 15 seconds faster. It was a gratifying moment for me because my parents were there and I hadn’t really had a big PR like that in college, so after three years of trying to achieve that, it felt great.”
What have you been doing during quarantine/ what have you been watching?
“During this quarantine, I have been running obviously, but I really like baking. I also just re-read the Hunger Games series within a couple days. That was interesting. I have watched the first season of Schitt’s Creek. It’s been good so far.”
What are you most looking forward to next year?
“I’m most looking forward to outdoor track next year. Last year I was hurt and with the cancellation of it this season, I have not been able to compete yet. There are a lot of events that you cannot do in indoor, like the 10K and the Steeplechase. I would like to give both of those a try. I am looking forward to just seeing my teammates again. I think this situation has made us realize that we want to make the most of our time together so I’m excited to get back and see them again.”