On your mark, get set, go: An update on track and field


Gabby Alpuche

Junior sprinter Zoey Brar-Avelar poses before practice ready to run.

The Buena High School track and field team has started practicing to hopefully prepare for a season. Although, many players are concerned about the risks involved.

“I feel happy and excited that I finally get to see some of the team and workout with them,” Junior sprinter Zoey Brar-Avelar said, “This helps me be more socially and physically active, so getting back into practice with them helps me occupy my days instead of just sitting around and doing homework. Practice is going well and there hasn’t been any problems with the way they organized a safe environment.” 

Brar-Avelar expressed that being a part of the team allows her to mentally recover from the stress in her life. She enjoys the change in her daily routine. Being a part of the team means that there are risks involved, one being your physical health. 

¨I’m a little worried but if I was more worried I would not have come to practice,¨ Brar-Avelar said. ¨Although we are taking careful precautions such as wearing our mask before and after the workout, getting asked  five COVID-19 related questions before we approach others, and having a gallon of hand sanitizer available for us to use at any time, there may still be small risk of the virus spreading. Because of these precautions, my worries have lessened a bit ¨

Overall the various precautions that have been in place have lowered some of the anxiety of the athletes participating during this risky time. Head track and field coach Michele Burns expressed her feeling on the risk of catching the deadly virus.

I know that we may have to be creative in how we have competitions but I am willing to figure it out,

— Michele Burns

¨No, I am not worried. I take precautions, Plus, being outside and exercising is healthy- both for physical and mental health. I also believe that teachers and coaches are essential workers. We are necessary, our student-athletes need us,¨ Burns said.

The team is divided into small pods even with the phase 2 guidelines that allow for bigger pods. I keep them to a max of 10 and also divide those pods into small groups. Every athlete checks in and I ask them the COVID-19 questions and they line up at their color coded cone. We were wearing masks when arriving and when leaving. Once we are running, masks are optional. 

¨We also acknowledge that once we are running in our small groups (approx. 5) it is difficult to run 6ft or more apart at all times. But this is why we have pods within pods,¨ Burns said.

After all the precautions, hard work,  and effort between the coaches and student athletes, this resulted  in many questions from the players. The biggest question looming is whether or not there is the possibility of a track and field session with competitions.

¨I remain optimistic that we will have a season. CIF and our district and school are supportive of it. It may look different but I think that track is a perfect sport to do during this time,¨ Burns said, ¨Plus, I think that spring sports have the benefit of it starting later in the school and that gives more time to get the COVID-19  numbers down and now the news of a vaccine starting to be available it should have time to trickle down to more people.¨

Being hopeful and optimistic during these hard times are a must, but overall the school district and coaches are figuring out the next step. ¨​I know that we may have to be creative in how we have competitions but I am willing to figure it out,¨ Burns said.