With COVID-19 shrinking the number of athletes who can be on certain teams this season, members of Aynor’s track and field team are being asked to do more events than they typically would in a normal year.

“It seems like this year I am going to do more, both short distance and long distance,” sophomore Christopher Marcus said.

Marcus, who typically runs the 100 meters, is now being asked to do the 4x400m and the 4x800m. While he is also a cross country runner, Marcus said the back and forth between long distance and short distance will “take some practice.”

“You have to focus on that really good conditioning for that long distance but then you also have to get that speed conditioning, which is a whole different kind of thing,” Marcus said.

Boys track and field coach Jackson Woodle said the cancellation of last season aided in teaching his team about adversity.

“That can translate out there when they’re practicing or at meets,” Woodle said.

Woodle said that the team has welcomed the challenge of taking on more events.

“They’re willing to work at it and do what it takes to be successful,” Woodle said.

On the girls side, junior Gabby Kovan is just happy to be competing again.

“I’m glad to be back running instead of just sitting around my house,” Kovan said. “It’s definitely a lot better because social interactions were limited.”

Kovan said she and her teammates have put in extra work to prepare for the season, coming to the track after school and running or going to the gym to lift weights.

“I’m just hoping that I can be better than I was last year,” Kovan said. 

With last season being taken from them, girls track and field coach Eric Shelley said he just wants them to “go out and compete.”

“It’s going to be nice to see people compete in an event,” Woodle said. “It’s been over a year since anybody has ran any.” 

Woodle’s message to his team this year has been to stay focused.

“You can’t just come out here and just drag,” Woodle said. “You got to run. You got to stretch. If you don’t do all these things right, you’re going to pull something, especially if some of these kids haven’t done anything in a year.”

For Kovan, she is putting her focus on bettering herself as a distance runner as she takes part in the 1-mile, 800m and the 4x800m. 

“I want to get better in the 800 and the 4x800 because I’m not really a good sprinter,” Kovan said. “So I’m trying to get better at that.”

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