Winter track sprints into first school season

Lucas Milgrim, Sports Editor

Since March, the reintroduction of school sports has been widely anticipated.  Although we have not reached a “normal” athletic season yet, some low-risk sports  are able to practice now, and are eventually slated to begin competing against other schools in the near future.  

One of these lower risk sports, as deemed by New York State is winter track, which has seen its fair share of success in past seasons with multiple state qualifiers last season.  Like everyone else, the team has needed to adapt, changing their normal practices to satisfy the many protocols in place for daily life and the additional ones that exist for athletes. 

Practices for the track team certainly look different than normal.  Practices begin with normal attendance, but now they have an added wrinkle: clearance.  Athletes have to fill out a daily health survey by 2:00 pm in order to be able to participate that day.  Then, athletes work through warmups  as usual, with the addition of masks.  

After warmups, athletes begin their normal workout and running routines that are done at each practice, but in order to do these unmasked, they have to remain distanced.  Players aren’t able to sit next to each other between runs or on bus rides to meets, or chat while grabbing a drink of water.

 “I feel the team is closer and stronger than we have been in previous years.  We are very fortunate that we have the privilege to practice and train as a team and everyone is grateful for that,” said sophomore Joe Green.

Beyond the troubles presented by Covid-19, there is the normal dilemma of leadership, and how it changes from year to year.  However, it will be especially challenging for new leadership to take charge of the team and inspire them to perform their best.  

“We are definitely going to miss last year’s seniors, and how hanging out as a team brought us together both on and off of the track.  Together, we can work around this by taking accountability for our actions, and exercising caution so that we can continue to be a team.  While the added pressure of COVID this year can be stressful, I think it shows an extra layer of responsibility and determination,” said sophomore Gail Rowe.  

Although the entire team acknowledges that this year will be one filled with hardships, they still have major aspirations.  Last year, both the boys and girls of the team had major accomplishments: multiple all county runners and field athletes, as well as some state qualifiers.  Even though these high expectations will be the focus of many outside of the program, members of Vikings’ Track would be happy to just complete their season safely.  

“I’m hoping the team can continue running and we can get through a season as normal as possible,” said sophomore Joe Asselta.