Girls track starts off season strong despite COVID-19 delays

Girls track has been able to begin practicing as a team for weeks and has met many team goals for this season.

The 2021 track season normally starts in January,  giving the athletes plenty of time to build their skills

and prepare for their upcoming meets.

This season has looked different with the season starting months later. New COVID-19 guidelines have also been put in place to ensure the safety of everyone. These are necessary, but they do pose difficulties fo

r athletes.

“Social distancing is a little hard during practice, especially when you’re doing team events,” said junior Leialoha Akalaonu.

Akalaonu also notes that although social distancing is difficult, it has provided more mindfulness for others. Other requirements, such as mask-wearing, have also been a challenge for participants.

“I think that running with masks has been the biggest challenge. It makes us work harder because it’s more difficult to breathe,” said sophomore Brooke Davies.

Even with these setbacks and things to get used to, the girls

track team has managed to come out strong during their meets.

“Every meet is like a highlight reel because our athletes just keep creating PRs,” said varsity coach Elaina Armata.

This far into the season the team has had four meets, with three being at home and one being away.

The track team often talks about meets when referring to their goals for the season. The competition allows them to grow and become stronger in their area of practice.

“We talk about short-term and long-term goals, some of which are even two years from now,” Armata said.

As the season goes on, the athletes will continue to master their skills and create new achievements or personal records. A lot of girls work toward bigger meets, such as Sectionals and State as well. These are later in the season, and athletes must qualify to be able to compete in them.

“My biggest goal right now is to make it to State. That’d be a really big achievement for me,” Akalaonu said.

She is a runner who has previously been able to compete in State in middle school. Sectionals and State is something that a lot of athletes aspire to compete in, and they are the center of attention when it comes to the goals of the season. The track team is doing their best to show up and win for Grayslake North.

“Everyone is working really hard and doing a good job,” Davies said.