Just Keep Running

The Changes Affecting Cross Country Season

Seven Vosler sprints to the finish line of a cross country race. She finished the race despite not training, and managing shoulder pain.

Photo credits- Tom Burris

Seven Vosler sprints to the finish line of a cross country race. She finished the race despite not training, and managing shoulder pain. “COVID isn’t what’s making cross miserable, it’s my shoulder,” Vosler said.

Sarah Butler, Journalist

Due to the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the school board has made changes to all school sports’ 2020-2021 seasons, and cross country is no exception. 

“I feel bad for other sports, but Ryan was able to put us under a club so we’re not running underneath the school so we can still have a season,” Seven Vosler, 12, said.

Coach Ryan Carol was able to register the team under a  different name, The Chesapeake Distance Project. Being a club and not a school team gives him more control over what races the team can enter and when the team can practice. 

 “We didn’t have practice anymore, so I stopped running for like a really long time,” Josiah Guirette, 11, said.

The gap between schools shutting down and organized practices resuming caused many athletes to lose progress gained over the season. As Guirette said, many athletes just stopped running until practice resumed, or others made up runs as they went, and suffered from the lack of structure.

Of course, not everyone on the team was impacted,  “Honestly, it hasn’t affected my running schedule,” Seven Vosler, 12, said.

Some, like Vosler, managed just fine on their own. For athletes like her, it wasn’t running that was stressful, it was dealing with the switch to online school, and coping with all the disasters the year seemed to throw at them.

“With everything being virtual I can’t go straight to my guidance counselor or teacher for help,” Vosler said, “I have to email them and wait for a response back. Also applying for scholarships and colleges, I had no clue how to do that and couldn’t go straight to my guidance counselor to ask.”

Being able to balance staying active and the massive influx of schoolwork is incredibly difficult. Assigned runs can be from twenty to forty-five minutes a day, and that’s without organized practice that can last for two hours. It takes skill to manage the limited amount of time in a day to fit both academics and running.

“I like to stay active and fit and I just feel like running is, it has a lot of perks, it’s stress-free, you can whenever and wherever,” Guirette said, “I just really like running. Ever since I was little I used to always love running.”