Jogging up the trail, the boy’s face lit up with a smile. This was the first time he had laid eyes on his teammates in months. Although their faces were covered up by masks, he knew they were beaming back at him.
Following the cancellation of spring sports at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, many students at West Henderson anxiously awaited an announcement regarding the status of summer workouts. It was soon revealed that summer workouts were allowed, but with some COVID-19 restrictions in place.
¨The workouts this year have been different from previous workouts for multiple reasons. One of them being we are required to wear masks anytime we’re not running. So right when we step out of our car to when we get back into our cars. Coach Galloway is also required to ask us COVID related questions when we get there along with taking everyone’s individual temperatures,¨ sophomore Lauren Sochia said. ¨Cross country is a sport where it is easier to social distance. So the running in general hasn’t been affected, it’s just more uncomfortable when you have to put a mask on right after you’re done running.¨
These requirements have come with their challenges for the cross country runners, according to Sochia.
¨It’s just more uncomfortable. They [the restrictions] aren’t affecting how I run in any way, because we are not required to wear a mask while we run,¨ Sochia said. ¨But after the run when you’re sweaty and breathing hard, the last thing you want to do is put on a mask.¨
Despite these challenges, Sochia and her teammates were thrilled to see each other after almost six months away from their classmates. According to junior Noah Krauss, the members of West Henderson’s cross country team have a family-like bond.
¨It was unreal. It seemed like it might never happen again, so seeing everyone was electric. It was a much needed mood booster,¨ junior Noah Krauss said. ¨My teammates are like family. Every year, some come and some go, but through every season there is a strong bond. We always have each other’s backs no matter what.¨
As for the fall cross country season, Krauss admitted many changes will likely be made to the meets if the sport is given the all-clear.
¨I have had to consider that we may not have a season going into this year, but if we do it’ll definitely be a lot different from years prior. There will probably be staggered starts, masks when not running, and more distance between team tents and in team tents,¨ Krauss said. ¨The thought of not ‘what if we don’t have a season´ but rather ‘what if we do have a season´ keeps me motivated to continue running.¨
By: Marissa Detwiler, Feature Writer