Getting back on track: Track and field team begins new season

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Then-sophomore Sara Mengel completes a long jump in a scrimmage at Ambridge on March 12, 2020. The next day, all events would be canceled, marking the end of the team’s season before it officially began.

Chloe Wolf, Asst. Editorial Editor

As the spring season begins, the track and field team starts their practices and preparations for the upcoming sports season. Although, this season will be considerably different compared to the last year. Last season there was one scrimmage at Ambridge High School, then lockdown started and the season had to be canceled due to COVID-19 precautions. There will be new restrictions and challenges the team will have to face this year, but the team is up for the challenge.

Our team is smaller this year probably due to COVID-19 keeping kids from participating. The meets will also be different in that they are limiting how many athletes per event (only 3 can be entered from one team). Not sure how the big weekend invitationals will work but probably similar to keep social distance in place where possible,” coach Thomas Hickey said.

Track and field is a sport that hosts many events along with many participants competing in those events. Due to there being fewer participants this year, there won’t be as many candidates to choose who will participate during meets, but it will still be difficult to narrow down the selection of who will be entered in each event. In the meantime, students are mainly focused on improving in their individual events, being competitive, having fun and doing their best. When the weather is clear, students can more easily focus on events outside, but when the weather is unfavorable, practices are hosted indoors.

“Practice just started but so far so good. We have a great group of kids willing to put in the work. Dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 is just part of life now so we do the best we can. Weather is usually an issue when we start in March but this week looks great for outside sports so we hope that continues. Other than that it is just getting everybody in shape to compete which takes some time,” Hickey said.

Track practices started as of March 8. Meets are scheduled to continue throughout the season, so it isn’t expected that the season will be canceled again this year. It is plausible that certain events or meets may be canceled or will have more restrictions put into place, but hopefully students will be able to continue to compete this year. COVID-19 is still a threat to the health of everyone, but it won’t be as prominent with the new measures put into place. Meets will follow basic health and safety guidelines, and may require students to wear masks during their events. Both students and coaches are feeling hopeful for the upcoming season and will continue to do their best as things progress.