Cross country and track and field are ready for obstacles
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Some athletic teams will have to deal with unprecedented conditions revolving around COVID-19.
When it comes to training, the track and field and cross-country teams could have a smoother adjustment.
The track and field and cross-country programs’ usual training methods will not be as affected by the social distancing format other teams will have to abide by, according to Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Brian Nill.
“The way we do all of our workouts and all of our training, everyone is broken into groups based on pace, so the slowest guy isn’t going to train with the fastest guy,” said Nill. “In effect, those groups sort of form their own little pods, the smallest being a group of two and the largest being a group of six, so we’re within all the distancing regulations.”
The regulations for training on the track are that each group must be spaced out by at least 50 meters which will not be an issue to do and can be easily accomplished, according to Nill, who said it would be “business as usual” for most of the athletes.
Runner, Terrell Patterson, a senior with his teammates were still able to train throughout the spring and summer during the period of not being on campus.
“The nice thing about us being sent home is that a lot of us live together. Under my roof, there’s eight people from the team so it’s easy for us to get on a run together,” said Patterson. “This summer for distance athletes was just a lot of mileage, being out on the road and getting some time on the feet.”
On top of having the opportunity to train with teammates in an effective way, Stephen Fengler, cross country and track and field athlete, a sophomore, said they had an advantage of being able to practice good habits when it comes to staying in shape in less than ideal conditions for an off-season.
“Most of the time it was about establishing habits like getting up early in the morning, doing a run or workout. Even when the tracks were closed, I was still able to do routes around where I live,” said Fengler.
It will be a little more challenging for the track and field athletes who depend on equipment for their events such as hurdling, javelin throwing and pole vaulting.
No equipment will be permitted for use until Sept. 28, but Nill said the program’s start date will more than likely be Oct. 1.
Strength and conditioning could also present the teams with challenges, as it’s harder to social distance in the weight room with the number of athletes on each respective team.
The cross country and track and field teams will look to continue upon their success as a program when training, as the men’s track and field team are coming off their fourth consecutive Northeast 10 Conference Indoor Championships in 2019 and the women’s taking fifth place said Nill.
The men’s cross country finished fifth out of 27 teams competing at the NCAA East Regional and third at the NE10 Conference Championship last season and the women finished 12th at the NCAA East Regional.
“Let’s just make sure we’re on point so that when we actually can get back to competing, we’re ready to do it better than we did before,” said Nill. “Just come out and rip some faces off and be where we need to be and where we want to be, when it matters.”