Cross Country finding ways to adapt to unusual circumstances

Sophomore Mason Hughes, Junior Mark Vorster, and Junior Will Taliaferro compete in a club meet at Pole Green Park. Photo courtesy of: Mason Hughes

Sophomore Mason Hughes, Junior Mark Vorster, and Junior Will Taliaferro compete in a club meet at Pole Green Park. Photo courtesy of: Mason Hughes

Josh Epstein, Sports Editor

I am very proud of their mindset and resilience.”

— Drew Spicer

All sports have been affected by COVID-19, with some high school sports being affected more than others. Several sports that would normally be in full swing now have yet to start practicing or playing games. However, some sports have found innovative ways to kick off their seasons. One of those sports is the cross country team, who started practicing with some unusual opponents on Sept. 14 after fall sports were pushed back.

At this time, the cross country team would usually be competing against athletes from other schools in meets set up by the Virginia High School League (VHSL). However, due to safety protocols, these meets have not yet been set up for this season. Instead, some members of the team have been competing in meets that have been organized by outside running clubs. This allows the athletes to compete against each other, while still following safety protocols. Head coach Drew Spicer says that the biggest changes have been the number of runners available and their preparation.

“There are less runners than usual, but we are still enjoying the semblance of a routine with a team,” Spicer said. “Some of the runners returned in shape and others out of shape, which was to be expected. It has been nice to see everyone again after a long break.”

Spicer also said that he has been impressed with how well the team has handled the abnormal season.

“They have had a positive attitude and have stayed motivated,” Spicer said. “I am very proud of their mindset and resilience.”

As the team waits for official high school competition to begin, they will make sure to be as prepared as they can, so when the safety protocols are lifted, they will be at the front of the pack.