Carlmont cross country sprints into the season

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Aidan Dimick

Carlmont cross country athletes run around the track as a team.

After students waited nearly a full year for their sports to start, the Carlmont cross country team’s season is finally underway.

While the district and state are debating safety precautions, athletes are getting hungry for playing time. Many athletes, especially those looking for college attention, are desperate to compete. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has made exceptions for select sports and schools, allowing teams like Carlmont’s cross country team to begin their season.

“The Peninsula Athletic League selected out of the 17 schools, only 10 have opted to do cross country. With this we have to try to minimize any chance of spreading any infection and separating the boy’s and the girl’s teams in cohorts,” said John Lilygren, the head coach of Carlmont’s cross country team. 

With their tryouts already being finished and finalized, practices have already begun. However, the conditions and regulations are dramatically different from the previous seasons. Competitors just want to get out there and find ways to stay physically and mentally active, with many using sports as a way to fulfill both physical and mental needs. 

“The main thing is wearing a mask up to the time when you are actually running. We are going to be maintaining strict social distancing orders and prohibit the use of shared equipment,” Lilygren said.

Although the CIF has yet to publish any concrete information on upcoming tournaments, they are expected to be restricted to duel meets or strictly running on the track. For runners, this year is far from normal.

“It’s a different feeling. I’m happy to be a part of the team but with tournaments only being restricted to at-home meets or duel competitions, the competitive feeling lacks its true purpose,” said Aidan Dimick, a junior.

The motivation to compete is still vibrant, but the energy brought by fans will no longer be an option during meets. Amid a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, the PAL and CIF will implement strong guidelines in order to keep student-athletes and coaches safe.

“Spectators and parents in the stands keep us motivated and push us to run harder, but with the harsh standards of today’s reality, that energy must now come from our own mentality, which can come hard for some,” said Jono Sison, a junior.

Coaches are struggling to find new ways to keep Carlmont athletes prepared and in shape for their season while working around these regulations. 

“The main thing we’re trying to do is give the athletes some kind of training and a little bit of competition, and hopefully, by next fall we’ll be back to a normal schedule,” Lilygren said. 

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