School hosts first Cross Country meet since pandemic

Varsity+Runner+Daniela+Quintero+%2722+warms+up+before+her+race.

Justin Goldstein/Chronicle

Varsity Runner Daniela Quintero ’22 warms up before her race.

Liam Razmjoo and Justin Goldstein

The Cross Country team participated in the first competitive sporting event held since the school cancelled all athletic activities due to the pandemic on Mar. 11. The Wolverines faced off against Loyola High School Feb. 13 at Ted Slavin field. 

Varsity runner Daniela Quintero ’22 said she was excited to be able to run again. 

“It was so special to be racing again. Being on the track surrounded by teammates, coaches and staff made the meet really memorable.”

The Cross Country team has been intermittently practicing since August, awaiting authorization from the Mission League and the school’s  athletic department to compete. Both teams had to follow safety protocols by wearing masks when not racing, and athletes also had the option to wear masks while racing. To avoid contact, runners from different schools began the races 200 meters apart from one another.

“There were specific protocols that needed to be followed to ensure the health and safety of everyone, such as keeping masks on when not racing, maintaining a lane’s width distance when passing others, warming up and cooling down on different sides of the track from the other team, etc,” Quintero said. “I think all of these parameters made the meet feel as safe as possible.”

Track and Field program head Jonas Koolsbergen said he was pleased with the safety of the event. 

“The adjustments for the meet went extremely well and the whole event felt extremely safe,” Koolsbergen said. “We kept the teams apart as much as possible and altered the start and finish for the opponents which made for a terrific and safe event.”

 The athletes and coaches were excited to resume competing in the sport  and feel that this meet showed that Cross Country can be safely resumed, even in these times.

“We were all extremely pleased with the success of the first meet,” Koolsbergen stated. “Athletes got to enjoy the opportunity to compete and return to doing what they enjoy and do so well.”

Next, the team will compete against Crespi Feb. 20. 

“We were all happy to be back doing what we love,” Quintero said. “To say that I was out there running a race for the first time in several months was special to me. I’m excited for the upcoming weeks where we’ll be racing more consistently.”