COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cross Country Runners to Have A Far More Different Season Than Before By

    COVID-19 has changed the everyday lives of so many people since it’s outbreak. Just recently after a very long absence, sports have started up again, but they have had to operate quite differently than they did before the pandemic. One of the few sports to start back up here at Wheeling was cross country. I asked a few of the runners about how COVID-19 has affected their season, how their first meet was and asked why they joined the team. The first runner I interviewed was Jasmine Bautista, I asked her how the season has been going with COVID-19 and how the virus has affected it and she said “ The start of covid and quarantine was really hard especially since when we run constantly everyday besides having Sunday off. We would run by ourselves at that time, but it’s not the same when you’re running with a group. Slowly but safely we started meeting up again in the summer, but it still wasn’t a big group. I think the max people we had at one point was 3-5 people, then the summer running practices started. We started running with our team and checked temperatures and it just continued from there. I don’t think there was really a normal practice until school started because when you think xc during practice there’s the football players ,soccer players, tennis, and other different activities around you. It was really spacious and our constant topic that we would talk about was the pandemic. overall it took a toll on our team but I think it made us better in the end.” The next runner I interviewed was Japnam Hothi and he spoke to me about how the first meet went. He said“ The first meet went well even though we lost, we were missing a few runners”. The next runner I spoke to was Arturo Valladares and I asked him what made him want to join cross country. He said “ I joined cross country this year because I wanted to enjoy my senior year, even if we are in a pandemic. I love running and being with my teammates is just awesome. We have grown closer through the season and we hope to finish strong.” It seems that all 3 of these runners have had a blast during this cross country season even though the coronavirus has taken away quite a few opportunities for them. It seems that their passion for running and unity as a team has kept their spirits strong and happy throughout the pandemic.