Cross Country Season Begins With Safety Protocols

Daily temperature checks and social distancing the new normal for one of two sports approved to return to play


File photo: Junior Isabella Frey shown in November 2019 during her sophomore cross country season.

Sophia Fuller, Video Editor

In the midst of a world run by Covid-19, some high school sports with low contact are able to resume earlier than others. Cross Country is one of those lucky sports with workouts that started in October and a season beginning Nov. 4.

Holding a season during the pandemic poses some concerns for coach Patrick Marshall, but he is administering several precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. 

“We are doing a health screening before every workout. Also, maintaining a separation of 10 feet between athletes when not running,” Marshall said. “During our workouts we try to make the groups a little smaller than normal and spread them out so they are not bunching up.”

Marshall has high hopes for his team this year, despite the delay of the season and having fewer workouts.

“We would like to win the conference championship and hopefully move on to the state meet,” Marshall said.

Reflecting on the abrupt end to last year’s spring track season, Marshall hopes this year can end differently for his athletes.

“I felt really bad for our students who lost their spring season last year. I would hate to see it extend through this school year,” Marshall said.

Technology has been a big part of keeping the team connected and engaged during quarantine. The team utilized an app that tracks activity and motivates the athletes.

“We started a Strava group so the coaches and athletes could check up on progress and encourage each other,” Marshall said. “It also has social media features where they give ‘kudos’ or ‘likes’ on other runners’ activities.”

This season is all about adjustments. With players being out of practice for so long and the new schedule, it is going to be unlike any cross country season Marshall has experienced. 

“We have some time to get in shape, but the season is going to go by fast. I can already see that we have some (students) that were able to keep up the training and some that will need to try and catch up,” Marshall said. “It is going to be an interesting season with the milder weather and how quickly the season will go.”