COVID-19 strips track athletes of their spring season

EDITOR NOTE: This story was slated to be published before we heard the 4-2-2020 announcement that all NSAA activities are now cancelled for the spring season.

By J1 Reporter Sarah Ritterling

March 12 seemed like it would be a normal day, but little did the track team know, they would not be able to come back to practice together. Later that day, their season was suspended until the first week of April and has since been suspended further to May 1st, causing athletes to lose much of their season and possibly all of it. The seniors who have been working hard for the past few years may not get to end their high school career in the way they thought they would.

It was only two weeks into the season when COVID-19 shut down schools and suspended athletes both collegiately and at the high school level. Many programs have already cancelled the whole season, but some states are still waiting, including high school spring sports in Nebraska.

The Marian track coaches hope a few meets will still be possible once the current situation has improved, but are unsure how many varsity meets or junior varsity meets, if any, will occur. Coach Greg Golka says that he hopes athletes will continue practicing with the possibility of competing. With the news of a further suspension, coaches will still continue to send out practices to do at home. Golka is also hoping the team will connect in some way led by the seniors.

Many people on the team are missing daily practices with others. “They’re so lonely!” said senior Kelly Williams about home practices, “I wish I had my team to keep me motivated and help me break past limits I didn’t know I had.”

Three of the seven seniors on the team have committed to running in college. The current halt on the season has affected senior Emily Saalfeld, who has committed to Northwest Missouri State. “I was supposed to hit certain time requirements in races during the meets for my coaches next year,” Saalfeld said. She was also supposed to meet her future teammates at one of their college meets, but now is unable to do so.

“I have put so much work into the season and I am hopeful that I get to perform with my teammates!” senior Brianna Eilderts said. With all the uncertainty of spring sports this year, athletes will continue to train hard. Coaches and teammates hope the opportunity to compete is possible, especially for the seniors wanting to finish their high school careers strong. For now, Marian track athletes will continue to wait for the chance of a season. 

websenior track
Seniors, from left to right: Kelly Williams, Emily Saalfeld, Olivia Mathews, Brooke Wigdahl, Maddie Warrick, and Brianna Eilderts.  Photo courtesy of Olivia Mathews.



2 thoughts on “COVID-19 strips track athletes of their spring season

  1. My heart goes out to everyone who lost their season. I hope Marian athletes continue to break records- even if it has to be at home. Thanks Sarah for writing this article.


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