Track prepares for meets after loss of 2020 season

Losing last season has made returning athletes more determined

Avery Gathright, JagWire editor-in-chief

After a cancelled season in 2020, the track team has begun training for this year’s season.

Sophomore Cree Crawford recalls her disappointment when she could not compete last year due to the pandemic.

“At first when I heard about the 2020 season being canceled I was shocked,” Crawford said. “I think the idea of school and track being canceled really put the impact of COVID-19 in perspective for me. I had practiced some during the winter and was looking forward to the season.”

However, Crawford believes that not being able to compete last year has still had its benefits, and has motivated the team to work even harder than before.

“Not having a season in 2020 has made the team more determined and driven from what I’ve noticed,” Crawford said. “There is a certain tenacity amongst the team, whether that be through workouts or overall appearance.”

Senior Megan Haymaker agrees with Crawford, saying that she is “more motivated to achieve my goals that I didn’t get to last season.”

However, despite giving the team more drive this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caused some drawbacks for the team. Senior Cole McClure, who participates in the pole vault event, has noticed the effects of not being able to enhance his skills last year.

“Taking a year off of any sport makes it so much harder to get back into it, especially with something as technical as pole vault,” McClure said. “I definitely missed out on a lot of opportunities to improve my skills and I’m hoping I can make up for it.”

Junior Katie Schwartzkopf, who is a distance runner, also found that missing a season had negative effects.

“Not having a 2020 track season was hard mostly because we had to go so long without racing and competing,” Schwarzkopf said. “It’s hard to stay motivated without races to look forward to. It’s also difficult because no one had updated times so it’s hard to gauge how fast you can run.”

This year, extra safety measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of the team, which McClure believes are standard.

“[The team is doing] nothing unexpected, just the basic social distancing and wearing masks,” McClure said. “[We are] doing everything to lower the risk of exposure and prevent the need to quarantine both individuals and the team.”

Although practices look different this year, Schwartzkopf is grateful for the opportunity to participate.

“I’m very grateful to have a season this year because I know a lot of schools do not get to have spring sports,” Schwarzkopf said. “I’m super excited to race again with all my teammates.”

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