Former Chiles standout runner back home and making the most of a strange time to be an athlete

Posted at 10:57 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 22:57:47-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Former Chiles runner Michael Phillips always enjoys coming back home to Tallahassee.

"It's definitely nice to see my dad and my mom, my brother obviously. We've had a lot of fun. It's definitely good to be home."

Even if this trip home came a little sooner than planned. Coronavirus sent Phillips home from Syracuse, and he didn't come alone. Some of his Syracuse teammates, came with him.

"It's really weird. It's really weird. You kind of have to deal with it because that's how life is," he said. "Everybody else has to deal with the same thing. We've kind of rolled with the punches, enjoyed what we have and enjoyed the sun, the color, the training."

"Just through the craziness, we want to keep the same schedule we've been working," added teammate Aidan Tooker, a senior at Syracuse. "I think that's kind of helping us keep our sanity by doing the same thing and just still working towards being good runners but even if there's no clear starting line ahead of us."

Training with an uncertain future is tough, but it's been made a little bit easier, at least this week, by the welcoming arms of Florida State.

"Get a beautiful view, maybe see some of the other guys running around. Kind of creating a community," said Tooker. "Everyone is in the same position. We can relate to those guys trying to do the same things as us."

"I think everybody just wants to get outside and just enjoy just being together as opposed to just staying home," added Phillips. "They know all the FSU guys, anytime at meets we see them. We're pretty much family I guess."

"It seems like we all share that same identity of being a runner. It definitely holds us all together," said Tooker.

It's a family who's held together more now than ever before. Phillips said he'll stay in Tallahassee for the rest of the spring, taking classes online. All the guys hoping things get back to normal soon.