Keegan Barone spotlights academic impact of injuries

Sophomore hurdler Keegan Barone interviewed athletes about injuries. (credit: Courtesy of Keegan Barone) Sophomore hurdler Keegan Barone interviewed athletes about injuries. (credit: Courtesy of Keegan Barone)

“I kind of [look] like I just peed. I hate this!” thought sophomore hurdler Keegan Barone as she sat in her Art History class. With a leaking ice pack on top of her hip flexor, the art major pursuing an additional major in business administration was just as irritated as she was wet. As track and field member realized how much the situation was affecting her academic life, she thought about injuries other athletes have sustained and how those injuries impacted their academic lives as well. Not a day later, Barone began her interview series on the impact of athletic injuries on CMU students.

The interviews featured nine different athletes, each from different sports on campus. Each had sustained an injury at some point during their college sports career; the amount of time which these athletes were prevented from playing ranged from a week to two years. With each athlete, Barone explores the question of what it means to be a student athlete with an injury. This ranged from how their injury impaired their ability to be on a team, mental state, and academic life. She hoped to reach a conclusion as to why each continued playing their sports after sustaining an injury.

One of the first players Barone thought to interview was her close friend sophomore business administration major and wide receiver Zachary Taylor. As a football player who tore his ACL and meniscus within the first two weeks of practice, Barone was curious as to how he took the situation.

“I was feeling for him, I was just distraught. He’s actually another inspiration for this piece; when I thought of… how [sports injuries] affect [others], I immediately thought of Zach. He is… [so] optimistic. He’s just an inspiration,” said Barone.

Despite interviewing nine players about their lives and emotions, Barone did not originally intend to create a video on sports injuries. Instead, she was trying to get into the news.

As an art student taking Concepts 2, Barone was assigned the prompt of getting into print news. Barone’s first plan was to break the world record for the most Star Jumps — a jump similar to jumping jacks but instead requires one to thrust themself off the ground. After contacting the Post Gazette and The Tartan for coverage, Barone prepared for jumps. Two days before she was to jump, Barone pulled her hip flexor. This eventually led her to creating her documentary piece.

“When I present my art, I usually just show it, and I like to hear what people think before I tell them what the intention was. For me, that’s what my art is about. It’s about other people making connections with my art,” said Barone.

Barone’s video can be viewed on vimeo at: