Crossing boundaries

The cross country team faces unprecedented obstacles as an effect of COVID-19


Lisa Autry

Junior varsity players stand holding their medals after a successful finish.

Emma Siebold, Sports Writer

“Any meet can be your last meet.”

After the rapid spread of COVID-19, spring track was cancelled, leaving many runners unfulfilled. Though this fall’s cross country season comes with its own added difficulties, the athletes are prepared to make the most of their races.

This year brings unprecedented challenges, and head coach Trenton Hall expounds on some of the difficulties the team faces. 

“It’s definitely changed the way we have to do things, there’s more rules and regulations,” Coach Hall said. “We can’t do everything like we did last year. As far as going to meets, we’re way more limited. We can only have 10 varsity and 10 JV at each meet, and JV and varsity have to be at separate meets.”

In their first invitational meet in Marble Falls, the boys placed fourth and the girls placed second overall. 

Though the coronavirus had a negative impact on athletics, for some athletes, there is a silver lining.   

“A lot of the athletes were in track season last year, and we were starting to have a pretty good track season, it was off to a really good start, and then we were not expecting everything to end when we left for spring break,” Coach Hall said. “Suddenly it was gone, and people had been working so hard to be at their best. I think for a lot of athletes, looking back at that experience, they realized how important competition and being able to do that was to them, so i think a lot of people really refocused going into cross country season and kind of taking the attitude of any meet can be your last meet.”

Regarding both the boys and the girls, Coach Hall would like to continue dominating the district, and hopefully the state. 

“On the girls side, we were seventh in the state last year, and we have all the girls returning, so our goal is to definitely move up,” Coach Hall said. “We’d like to be on the podium and in the top three this year.”

Many of the boys on last year’s varsity team graduated, so the team is starting fresh.

“We’re looking at kind of a brand new team, on the boys side,” Coach Hall said.“We only have a couple of guys with varsity experience. So far, they’ve competed pretty well against some of the better teams in the district, so we want to continue to build on that and get these guys to not be scared to race at that varsity level. Our goal is to repeat as district champs on the boys side and have a shot to qualify for the state meet.”

The runners of Smithson Valley are overcoming the adverse conditions thrown at them, and they hope to better themselves despite the obstacles born from the coronavirus.