This school year is obviously like no other we have seen before, and that is especially true when it comes to sports. BHS has put in a lot of effort to ensure that sports, a beloved part of student life, will still happen for all of our fall athletes. However, to provide safety among all the athletes necessary rules and restrictions have been put into place that have changed what the fall season looks like for each sport. Today we are going to take a look at how one of the most populated teams, girls and boys cross country, is approaching the fall season.
With well over 70 athletes on the girls and boys cross country teams, practices and meets are much different than they have looked in the past. Before this year, both teams would simply meet on the track everyday after school to practice, warming up in groups of about 60 boys and girls. Obviously this year in order for the team to continue practicing changes needed to be made to keep all the athletes safe.
Because of the large size of the teams the athletes were split into four groups and have different practice times and days. Instead of practicing everyday, some groups practice Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while others practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The team also practices at Legacy Park instead of at BHS. This allows the team to have more room to socially distance themselves, while also providing the team access to the many wood trails behind the park. It is also required that the athletes wear masks while arriving to practice and keep them on until practice officially begins. And as always, keeping all the athletes socially distanced is strongly enforced by the coaches to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Another big change for the cross country athletes is how the meets work. In the past the team would attend numerous meets each season, the biggest and most competitive being the invitationals. Unfortunately having these large invitationals is not a smart decision so they were cancelled. However, small meets are still allowed with restrictions. The team has to split in half in order to compete, to make sure there are less athletes running together. This means that not all the bulldog athletes run their races on the same day. One of the most different changes this year is how the races start. The athletes start by one runner beginning every five seconds to help keep them socially distant on the course. Also the course has been designed to make sure that the athletes are spread out as possible. This means the course avoids having loops that could result in faster runners passing the slower ones.
Despite these new changes the athletes are still enthused to still have their fall season.
Although the season has already been extremely different than in the past, I’m still super grateful and happy that a couple days a week I get to see my coach and run with some of my teammates.
Says senior Emma Chisholm, voicing her positive outlook despite the unusual changes added to the fall season.
I was beyond excited to be back with the team, even though it’s not everyone, it is much more fun running with some teammates than running alone.
Adds senior Carly Rinko, also having a very positive attitude about cross country this season.