Making the most of an opportunity

Track begins season one year after UIL shutdown


Mackenzie Olson

Running in the 4X400 relay, senior Amalie Mills takes her strides to the finish line. At the Ranger Relays, she ran the relay after running the mile. The girls 4×400 m relay placed first in the Brenham meet with a time of 4:05.

Noah Autry, Staff Writer

One year ago, track and field athletes, after training all year to show their talents and skills on the field, saw their season disappear after COVID-19 hit.  A year later, athletes are hungry and ready to show who is boss this season.

The track and field team started the season with some key wins that allowed athletes to develop their skills and become more experienced.

“The boys won the Northeast meet and beat Judson, so that was really good,” distance track coach Trenton Hall said. “So far we haven’t focused on the team score but more athlete development. We’re going to start looking a little bit more at scoring the points that we need to try to close out the season strong.”

This year’s season already has a select number of athletes who stand out from the rest.

“Amalie Mills is one of the top ranked runners in the state right now,” Hall said. “She ran a 4:52 mile indoors and a 2:10 800 meter. Sarah Scott is returning from injury; she is a regional champion previously in cross country.”

“Tevijon Willams broke the school record in the 100 meter in 10.55 and he’s running relays too, so you know he’s got a shot to do really well.”

Aspects of the sport are different because of COVID-19 to ensure the safety of the athletes.

“We’re still following the UIL guidelines and continuing to keep social distance,” head coach Bren Jones said. “Even though masks are optional now, we’re encouraging everyone if they are in person to wear one in school so they don’t have to quarantine.”

Smaller meets with only seven to eight teams have replaced bigger meets.

“One big issue that we’ve dealt with is the way meets are structured and the advancement process from district and beyond,” Hall said. “There’s going to be a lot of good athletes that are going to be left home and not get to go to some of those big meets.”

The team prepares for a full season despite the possibility of a cancellation like last year.

“Hopefully we can get through the season, we’re almost there,” Jones said.”This time last year is when everything got called, so we’re making sure we continue to take the precautions that we need to take, so we can actually have a good finish to the season.”

With last year’s canceled season still fresh in their minds, athletes savor the chance to compete.

“I think the kids realized the opportunity that they missed out on last year and the opportunity that’s in front of them right now,” Hall said, “so I feel like people have been working extra hard to make sure that they make the most of the opportunity.”