Sprinting into the new season

Lilly Guenther, Copy Editor

The Bellefonte cross country team has started their 2020 fall season. The team began their training on August 17, with their official season delayed a week by the PIAA until August 24 due to coronavirus concerns. Together, the team has been working hard to prepare themselves for a successful year, although in some unconventional circumstances.

Precautions have been taken to keep students, staff, and spectators safe. Prior to each practice, runners fill out a self-screening and have their temperature taken. They then maintain social distancing throughout practice and wear masks during warm-ups, stretching, and cool downs. During competitions, the runners will remain distant on the bus as well as from each other and others at the meet. 

LaBelle Staff

Due to the danger of large crowds, there will not be Invitationals this year. These are large meets, often with over 200 runners. Instead, schools will compete in smaller, usually post-season events. This means there will be less opportunities for the team to build their strengths through competition, and more time to practice. 

Video Production teacher Mrs. Carla Cipro has been working with Bellefonte cross country since 2015, and was hired to be Varsity Coach in 2017. This year, Mrs. Cipro is ready to lead the team and overcome this year’s new challenges. 

“We are training to have a great postseason performance and taking it week by week,” Mrs. Cipro said. “The runners understand that it is important to stay safe so that the athletic programs can continue to operate, so they have accepted the lesser competitive schedule for the season.”

For the student athletes, some things, such as the way things are done, have changed due to COVID-19, but their commitment to the sport has not. 

Kate Rarrick is a sophomore and co-captain of the team. The season will look different this year for Kate and the rest of the athletes. 

The circumstances this year have affected the team very much. With our invitationals being canceled, we have significantly less meets and less time to improve. Additionally, we lose a large amount of competition that we normally receive at those meets,” Kate said.

 But her morale, motivation, and expectations for herself and her teammates is still high. She has developed a new sense of appreciation for the sport, and the team continues to put in the work they need to make the most out of this season. 

We are working through this by concentrating on the meets we do have and taking full advantage of every practice to improve. Personally, these circumstances have affected my season mindset and expectations. I have become more focused on each day and practice because I am uncertain whether or not I will get another one,” she said.