Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run everyday with a mask on your face? What it is like to compete in meets in the frigid and icy-cold weather during a pandemic? How would you overcome this and still win another state title for your school? This year, the indoor track team experienced this during the winter weather, following COVID protocols while defending their state championship record.
Senior Jia Anderson, junior Julia Querey, and freshman Mekiyah Earnest have experienced many accomplishments this season by improving themselves and staying connected to their teammates. Even though they faced problems during the season, they supported each other during practices and meets.
“During the season, we were not allowed to participate in after practice activities and events because of the protocols of the pandemic,” Earnest said.
This year is Anderson’s last season as an indoor track player and will be leaving her team for college. She had run every year in high school and before she entered high school. Over the years, Anderson has created many new friendships with her teammates.
“Participating in many events during each season in indoor track has allowed me to make many memories with new people each year in high school,” Anderson said.
Querey has competed in indoor and outdoor meets since her freshman year. She said she has enjoyed every opportunity to share her favorite sports and memories with her teammates.
“The last three years has made me appreciate the time and remembrance of remarkable events with my teammates,” Querey said.
Earnest has run track every year before this season. She is new to the school and has made many new friends from participating in the season this year.
“My new teammates were the support and encouragement for me throughout the season to improve in practices so that I could succeed in meets,” Earnest said.
Running track is an enormous part of their lives as athletes and students. They said it allows them to relieve their minds of school and stress.
“I have run track since elementary school and track has always been away for me to take my mind off everything,” Anderson said.
This season, Querey stayed connected with her teammates and helped encourage them to do their best at every meet. Even in the pandemic, she was able to cheer and inspire her teammates to improve their performances during every event in the season.
“I am very impressed with the performance of my teammates during this season,” Querey said. “We were able to stick together and encourage each other while taking safety precautions.”
Through practices and meets, the team was required to wear masks while running and interacting with each other. Anderson said it was difficult for many athletes to breathe through a mask and run while maintaining the proper distance from others.
“It is very hard to compete in a meet or participating in practice with a mask on since I am not used to wearing a mask while running,” Anderson said.
Throughout this challenging time during the season, Querey said athletes have struggled to motivate themselves to continue to run since indoor track is in the winter season. Earnest said friends and new teammates were the motivation to get through every obstacle everyday. Through this motivation, the team has pushed through the hardships and continued to win another state title.
“I am grateful to have phenomenal teammates who are able to push through any trials thrown their way,” Earnest said, “and still manage to win another championship title for our school.”