As the winter sports season approaches, many questions have been raised about the adjustments being made to certain programs in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these sports is indoor track. Although indoor track has been labeled as a “low-risk” sport by the state and was approved to begin practice on November 30th, Section 3 athletics was unable to secure a competition venue, and therefore has postponed their indoor track season indefinitely.
In order to communicate J-DHS’s plan for this year’s indoor track season, as well as how it will look different from previous years, Head Varsity Indoor Track Coach Rowles spoke to a few of her thoughts on the subject. “I am working with the administration to implement a Plan A and a Plan B to provide our population at JD with some variation of indoor track,” said Rowles. These plans would have to follow protocols put in place in response to COVID-19, such as constantly wearing masks, social distancing, only allowing a certain number of athletes in the track at a given time, etc. More information about the plans for this year’s season can be expected by the week of December 6th.
If previously mentioned Plan A and Plan B are not approved, there is the proposition of a Plan C, which would “provide optional training ideas for any athlete that wants to stay in shape through the winter,” said Rowles. Athletes would surely have difficulty disciplining themselves to keep up with a set schedule on top of school, work, and other commitments, but others are already planning how they will stay in shape in the worst case scenario. Among these plans are continuing running, working out, and overall preparing to reach their full potential in the outdoor track season in the spring.
If the season is canceled, some students’ futures could be altered, seeing that many were depending on this year to play a large role in their plans of continuing track at the college level. “As a junior, this is a big year for my recruiting process and just being able to improve and put out video will be so much more difficult,” said Nick Dekaney. In past years, scouts from colleges and universities would attend track meets and look for athletes who stood out, but with no competition space this year, many scouts will have to depend solely on video footage, which will also be harder to develop due to limited access to the track.
From an outsider’s perspective, there may not seem like there is anything special about indoor track. However, with nearly 10 to 11% of the school’s student population contributing to the team, the environment created is unlike any other. In times of difficulty, some might reminisce on simpler days. “(I will miss) everything really, the live competitive atmosphere, practices, meet days, etc. without having to socially distance,” said senior Mareed Alam. Athletes like Alam who feel so strongly about the impact that indoor track has had on their lives ensure that, no matter the outcome of the season, the positive spirit will stay alive.