With multiple talented runners in each grade level, the Red Rams were poised to compete for first at the sectional meet, and even have some runners with a chance to be a top individual finisher. Now, with all of the changes that COVID-19 has brought about, their expectations have been forced to change. Despite sectionals being cancelled, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls cross country team is still aiming to have as successful of a season as possible this year.
One of the most challenging aspects of the start to the 2020 season has been the lack of time together for the team. With many athletes only being able to go to practice on the two days that they go to school, it’s been nearly impossible to run together as a whole team. “We can’t be united as a team,” said junior Rebecca Kassis, “because we have to be separated.”
Another wrench in the system has been the new rules around masks. Athletes are required to wear them during practice as much as they can possibly do so. Senior Jillian Kordas emphasized how difficult it is to follow that new rule while training. “Running in masks has been a real challenge. It definitely takes some getting used to.” There was even a situation in which two runner’s masks broke during a training run, and they had to hold them on by hand until they could get new ones.
Even with all the new difficulties that this season presents, including a lack of a postseason, the Red Rams are still setting high goals. “Our team goal this season is to do the best we possibly can at each meet that we have the opportunity to compete at,” senior Maddie Foss said. “We would ideally like to go undefeated.”
“We have only five opponents and two of them are going tough,” coach Jim Lawton said. A perfect won’t be an easy goal to achieve, but it is a goal the Red Rams are confident they can achieve.
J-D kicks off their journey to 5-0 this Wednesday with their senior night, a home meet against East Syracuse-Minoa. The home course will hopefully provide a sense of normalcy and routine for the first meet, according to Lawton. “Having the first meet at home will help build confidence for the new members.”