Runners make a mark on 2021 season

Lily Wichert, Copy Editor

Being a spring student athlete amongst the global COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for the Bellefonte High Track & Field team, but more than anything, this has motivated the  students on the team to strive for success. With the newly completed renovation of Roger’s Stadium, the team has been able to enjoy their season on the home field for the first time in Bellefonte history as an official sport. The season officially began on March 8, and since, the team has completed 5 meets. 

Junior Kerri Shutika at a meet this season. (Photo by LaBelle Staff)

Head Coach Seth Miller describes the year to have so far been a “very solid season.” Regardless of the fact that track season was cancelled last year due to the cancellation of spring sports at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the track team has quickly worked to rebuild the progress made in just two short weeks last year. 

“It took some time at the beginning of the season this year to get back in shape and develop that team bond that coaches strive for,” Coach Miller said. 

With nearly 70 student athletes, including 19 seniors, the coaches and members of the Bellefonte track team have a lot to be proud of. Since the beginning of the season, the track team has hosted 5 meets, including one scrimmage, and even a junior high track meet. 

“After not hosting meets for over thirty years, it was a bit overwhelming,” Coach Miller said. “[Seniors] have had the opportunity to experience something no recent class before them have had the opportunity to do… run at home.”

Many people often underestimate the work that is required to successfully complete a home track meet, especially the first in many years. 

“I have to give credit to the student-athletes, coaches, parents, and all involved,” Coach Miller said. “It basically takes a small army… I really hope our seniors know just how special this season was.” 

With having a large number of student athletes on the team, members have had to overcome the struggles that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, including dealing with quarantine. Regardless, teammates have not failed to be understanding of the requirements that are needed in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus from overcoming the team. 

Senior Rianna Morris believes that overall, the most exciting part of the season has been being able to run with her friends, “…even with limitations.” 

As the season draws to a close, Rianna looks forward to ending her season “…on a good note, having a new personal record, and enjoying the rest of the season with my friends.” 

Out of the multiple events available for members of the team to compete for, Rianna is a thrower, including the discus, javelin, and shot \put. 

With the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the track team are anticipating that they will not be able to compete in invitationals this year, if more than 5 schools will be present at the event. Senior Austin Melius competes in the 4×400 relay, the 1600 meter, and the 3200 meter events. Regardless of this, Austin is “looking forward to Mountain Leagues,” where he will have the opportunity to reach his personal goals. 

The 2021 season is quickly approaching an end, as the school year comes to a close. Next on their agenda, the track team will compete in a tri-meet on Tuesday May 4 at home against Hollidaysburg and East Juniata, where they hope to improve their record and begin to finalize the season.