Student-athletes discuss their experiences of fall break


Seth Maile

Senior Andrew Rossetti dribbles the ball down the sideline during a match against Winthrop, his first match back after his injury in the 2021 season.

Jared Feinberg, Sports Writer, [email protected]

Fall break is a time for UNC Asheville students to relax and reset halfway through the fall semester. For student-athletes, they’re in the middle of their respective seasons preparing for a competition or competing in events throughout the weekend. 

Student-athletes bear a lot of responsibility regarding preparation and performance in the classroom and in competitions. When it comes to fall break, some student-athletes may have just one or two days during the break to catch up on other responsibilities outside the ones they have in their respective sports while also trying to balance their social life as well.

Competing in sporting events during the fall break is never a bad thing, especially when you’re able to break records like senior cross-country runner Johnathan Ciprich did that weekend. Ciprich broke the Bulldogs 8k record with a time of 24:16.9 in the Lou Classic in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ciprich spent his downtime before and after the meet finishing up on homework and readings, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing some celebratory food after his record-setting performance. 

“After getting back from the meet, I immediately grabbed some Cook Out and then went home to do some homework. I also took time to watch some shows and do some reading after my cross-country meet,” Ciprich said.

Once he finished his classroom responsibilities, Ciprich was finally able to start a popular Netflix show that was recently released, “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” 

“I started the Dahmer show and finished three episodes over the course of fall break to unwind from classes. I have been wanting to start this show for the past couple of weeks,” he said.

Ciprich said fall break was a time for him to refocus, though he wishes the break was longer than just a four day weekend. 

“Fall break definitely allowed me time to recharge, especially since it was merged with the weekend. I personally wish it was slightly longer, but I’m grateful that I had a chance to relax during the break,” said Ciprich.

Another student-athlete that competed during the fall break weekend was sophomore swimmer Chloe McDonald. UNCA defeated East Carolina University in their first dual meet of the season, 160-140. McDonald was a big part of the Bulldogs win over the Pirates, finishing first in the 100-yard fly.

McDonald said the energy on the pool deck was unmatched while also being pleased with her time of 57.46 in the 100-yard fly. 

“This win was a collective effort and I could not be any more proud of this special group of ladies,” she said.

After the big win over their Atlantic Coastal Conference foe, McDonald and her teammates went right back to work on Monday with a mile-and-a-half run along with three practices in two days. On Tuesday afternoon, McDonald was able to spend her spare time with her teammates. 

“A lot of us went to an orchard, treating ourselves to apple cider donuts, fritters and all sorts of goodies,” said McDonald.

During the break, McDonald decided to re-watch some old classic movies such as “Good Will Hunting” and “When Harry Met Sally.” 

“Let me tell you, it was as great as the first time watching them. If you’re looking for a cozy classic, I highly suggest these, especially if you’re a sucker for romance. Plus, they’re perfect for this time of year as they have a fall aesthetic to them,” McDonald said.

McDonald said fall break allowed her to sit back and reflect on the semester, saying she was happy with her performance in the pool and in the classroom. 

The sophomore said it can be easy to get overwhelmed as a student-athlete, though the break gave her and others opportunities to reset and refocus. 

“For many I think it can be fairly easy to get overwhelmed, especially when it seems like so many things are occurring at once and it’s always go, go, go. Having even two days off from school gave me, along with others, the opportunity to refocus on priorities and goals set for ourselves at the beginning of the semester,” McDonald said.

Senior midfielder and forward Andrew Rossetti said he spent his fall break with teammates and preparing for their matchup against Big South conference foe, Longwood. Unfortunately due to inclement weather, the match was rescheduled to Oct. 18. 

“We had a game on Saturday vs. Longwood. Due to storms it was rescheduled. I had the weekend off, and spent it working on midterms and other homework assignments,” Rossetti said.

Rossetti said he spent his time off getting caught up with a popular HBO Max show and watching football over the weekend. “I got caught up on “House of Dragons”, which was good. But besides that I didn’t really watch anything specific,” he said.

However, Rossetti did say he spent his Saturday off watching college football. 

“I love Georgia Bulldog football. So I watched their game against the Missouri Tigers. I also watched the Oklahoma Sooners vs. TCU Horned Frogs,” Rossetti said.

While a couple of days off were great, Rossetti was able to catch up on some of his off-the-pitch responsibilities that many student-athletes have. 

“It was definitely relaxing to have two days off from soccer. During the season time just flies by. Having a couple of days to catch up on work, shows, grocery shopping and other things was super helpful,” Rossetti said.