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Retiring From College Sports: Evan Wildermuth reflects on his time as a collegiate athlete after announcing his retirement this fall.

Over the past three years, Evan Wildermuth’s name has been in Eastern Athletics’ headlines. A Track and Field athlete who does jumps, Wildermuth brought his A-game to meets at every chance he got. From his amazing performances at conferences in 2019 and his title of MAC Indoor Athlete of the Year, he has been on the top of his game throughout his collegiate career.

When his junior season was cut short last year, many believed he would come back stronger than ever for his senior season. However, few expected the next move he would make. On August 31st of this year, Wildermuth made the announcement that he would be retiring from Track and Field.

I met with Wildermuth for a socially distanced phone interview to talk about this decision. Wildermuth has been a track and field athlete since seventh grade, which is almost ten years ago for the now-senior. He was nationally ranked his sophomore and junior seasons and was on track to keep the streak going before his junior season got cut short.

So, why is Wildermuth retiring rather than quitting? “I’m hanging up the shoes instead of just quitting,” said Wildermuth, “there is a possibility that I still come back. It’s possible to unretire but it’s not possible to unquit.” It is not uncommon for athletes to quit here at Eastern. Whether it be to focus on academics, losing interest, or mental health reasons, a few quitters is kind of the norm in Eastern Athletics.

While Wildermuth has put his track and field days behind him, he seems to have a lot to look forward to in his future. Shortly before he announced his retirement, he proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Kenzie Taylor. Wildermuth and Taylor are currently planning their wedding, and he is very excited to marry the woman he loves so much.

On top of the upcoming nuptials, Wildermuth has begun a new fun hobby: streaming video games. Under the name Critical Warning, Wildermuth has spent his afternoons playing games for his friends and family. He streams on Twitch, the same website that Eastern’s E-Sports team streams on. Wildermuth expressed that he would play for Eastern’s E-Sports team if they offered the games he enjoys, but for now, he is staying a non-athlete. Although he has hung up his running shoes and his jersey, Wildermuth looks back on his time as an athlete with happiness.

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