Winter Sports in weird season

Lakxshanna (Lexi), Copy Editor

The abridged winter sports season began on January 4 for Boys/Girls Track, Bowling, Fencing, and Boys Swimming with new precautions to maintain COVID-19 guidelines. 

There are many new safety regulations that are consistent across all sports. Students complete temperature checks before entering the school and daily health screening forms. All athletes are encouraged to social distance whenever possible and keep their masks on at all times, including during training and travel to other schools. Additionally, no spectators are allowed at competitions to limit contact. 

One of the main precautions that the track teams are taking is organizing athletes into zones. Students only interact with other athletes in their running group, which are cohorts of students that run the same race. This allows students to train for events together, but limits contact between the entire team. Similarly, the fencing teams are organized into groups based on the weapon they fence, such that each team is divided into three groups. 

For track, students wear masks for the majority of their events, but after running at least 400m, they have the opportunity to pull down their mask as they sprint, which they must then adjust to the correct position once they finish sprinting. In fencing and bowling, masks are worn at all times including under all equipment. 

“At first it was difficult to train and fence with a mask on. I was able to adjust though, you get used having it on as you exercise. I’m glad that we’re taking this precaution because it makes me feel safe and I’d rather wear a mask than not have a season,” said varsity fencing team member Anna R.

Boys individual swimming is an exception, athletes don’t wear masks as they compete as chlorine is shown to kill the coronavirus. Students wear masks in the surrounding areas like the pool deck up until they get ready to compete. Plastic dividers between the lanes in the starting area are used as a safety precaution. Dividers are also used to separate bowling lanes.

The bowling alley has been very accommodating as they have added plastic shields in between lanes and have separated the tables. We have to keep our masks on at all times which has not been a problem. We all have our own equipment so we never share anything either,” said varsity bowling team member, senior Jessica P. 

Many of the sports that are running have limits on the amount of students that can travel to away meets. For track, 30 athletes per team are allowed to attend away meets while fencing is limited to 15 athletes per team. 

“It’s unfortunate that we can’t compete as one big team anymore, but I understand that it’s the best way to keep everyone safe, even if we aren’t together. Even though you might miss out on a meet, it’s still nice that we get to train together, and there’s always a chance you’ll get to attend the next meet,” said varsity fencing team member, junior Heetaek R.

Many students, especially senior athletes, are excited to be able to compete but feel as if it isn’t as enjoyable as a regular season.

“While it is definitely nice that we have a season, it just isn’t the same. I miss racing indoors, but I think the way the school is handling it is great, and everyone is being safe,” said varsity track captain, senior Emma H.🔳