Seniors around the nation are being stripped of their final high school athletic seasons this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These cancelations are devastating for athletes who have been working towards goals for years, whether personal or for the team.
Senior Tyler Renteria, a shot put and discus thrower, said, “I felt like last year there was a little bit of a lack of leadership from the seniors, at least for throwing… and so I kind of took this personal goal this year, making sure I wasn’t just worrying about competing myself but also kind of teaching the younger ones.”
Senior Mary-Elizabeth Wurzer, who throws javelin, was also excited to continue her leadership role this spring.
“As a thrower it’s not working out like it is for a lot of other people, it’s very mental and very technical,” she said.
She added that her favorite part is “working together and teaching people how to do it because the last couple of years I have been one of the oldest people on the team. I’ve been able to take a real leadership position.”
Aside from reaching for goals, track is a very social sport, which can be difficult to miss out on, as well.
Senior Steve Sturges, who runs the 800 and was planning on trying out discus this year, said his favorite part of track is “throwing frisbees before practice” and “hyping each other up” at meets.
“I have no one to socialize with, especially on easy runs… I just miss some people from track and running with them,” said Senior Aspen Ashcraft, who mainly competes in the 3200.
For throwers, continuing to train at all is difficult without school facilities. Wurzer said she reached out to the City of Camas, and they told her she was not allowed to throw in public parks due to safety concerns. For distance runners, there is no worry about a physical lack of places to run, but training alone can still be difficult mentally.
Despite missing out on social aspects that make training fun, Ashcraft said she has stayed motivated to run with the prospect of competing at Montana State in the fall.
“I’m going to get to compete next year, and sure this season’s over, but me running through the rest of my life isn’t,” she said. “I just keep myself fit and mostly healthy so I don’t fall too far behind.”
While this season may be canceled, for most athletes, this is not the end.