Intrasquad meets: Track looks to continue racing opportunities

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By Abby Bagby, Staff Reporter

The winter track team will implement intrasquad meets, a staple of the program in the past, into this year’s season. 

Intrasquad meets, in which athletes on the same team compete against each other, provide competition for those who don’t get the chance to race often against other schools. With about 100 runners on the roster, these meets are an important way of offering performance opportunities to all athletes on the winter track team. Head coach Mark Carberry wants to continue the meets in the 2021 season and believes that they will be familiar to returning runners despite the safety modifications that would be in place. 

“My hopes are that I will be able to continue (intrasquad meets) into this year and this weird season that we’re going to undertake pretty soon,” Carberry said. “My hope is that it’s not gonna be all that awkward for (the runners) because they were already pretty accustomed to doing it last year.” 

While coaches are looking into ways to host intrasquad meets, Carberry says they are aware that the events will have to be significantly adapted in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. 

“As much as you’re going to try and emulate exactly what you’ve done in the past, there’s no way you can really do that. For example, you can’t hold relay events currently because of any potential transmission,” Carberry said. “It’s a decision that my coaching staff and I will have to make.” 

Senior Charlie Miller, a member of the varsity team, is looking forward to the possibility of intrasquad meets and the racing opportunities that would come with them. 

“(Intrasquad meets give) a lot of other kids who don’t really get to race that often the chance to race, and it’s a pretty fun environment as well,” Miller said. 

With runners spaced apart, leaving as little chance for contact or transmission as possible, Miller believes that intrasquad meets would be a very safe option for the runners. 

“We definitely do a good job at maintaining social distance and not getting too close and wearing masks all the time, so I think it is safe, especially in an outdoor environment,” Miller said. 

In previous years, the meets have been relatively informal compared to official interscholastic races, with athletes competing against fellow teammates rather than strangers. Miller enjoys the ability to run alongside friends. 

“It’s not a very serious competitive environment compared to a regular race against other schools because we already know each other,” Miller said. “We’re a little bit competitive but also it’s on the fun side as well, so it’s a combination of both.” 

Runners such as senior Katie Sung have been time trialing on their own in preparation for the season. Sung has been running for the track team since her freshman year and is also hoping to have the chance to race for her final season at ’Stoga. 

“My goals for the new year are to hopefully get a couple racing opportunities to hit new (personal records),” Sung said. “(The team has) followed Coach Mark’s detailed plan, and I am excited that we are all doing so well.” 

Although track competitions are uncertain, Carberry wants his athletes to remain optimistic throughout their training. 

“If (the athletes are) gonna take anything away from it, it is patience,” Carberry said. “Just be patient with the process. It’s gonna be weird, and it’s weird for everybody, so let’s just all figure it out together as we go.”