Track and Field transition from indoor season to outdoor season

Jannae Mehaffey

This past week, the men’s and women’s track and field team transitioned from their indoor season to their outdoor season. Limited training times due to both COVID-19 and weather complications has been tough this year but Ryan Sorenson, a junior on the men’s team, is excited to finally be running outside and facing new teams.
“We had an indoor season, however, it was modified so that we only had a handful of meets against the same two teams. With the recent release of our outdoor schedule, we are excited to have a season that resembles a normal outdoor season in a non-pandemic year,” Sorenson said.
Even though other teams in the CCIW have had a good indoor season, the runners on the team are confident in themselves and their teammates. The men’s and women’s track and field team are committed to making this season count and are ready to prove they are the best team in the conference.
“The team, I felt, has performed well during this indoor season; with many individuals setting personal bests, season bests, and qualifying for competitive meets such as the ‘CCIW elite meet’ and the NCAA championships,” Sorenson said.
The team hasn’t let COVID-19 restrictions hold them back. Even with playing only two teams during the indoor season while also coping with stricter practice times, they have still beat records..
Every season, the team’s goal is to be number one in the CCIW and with the promise the team has shown throughout the indoor season, Sorenson believes that goal is very attainable for them this year.
Other runners like Irais Tenorio, a junior on the women’s team, hope that this season her team gets even closer. They are already close, but COVID-19 restrictions have  made team bonding a little harder.
“I hope we all get the opportunity to become closer since we’ve had to adhere to social distancing guidelines this entire year,” Tenorio said. Restrictions on group gatherings have made team bonding for sports teams different from years past.
“For many athletes at Augustana, playing sports has been a good stress reliever during this pandemic. Having to do classes online and social distance from friends has made this time in many college students’ lives very hard,” Tenorio said.
With last year’s season being canceled and all the restrictions in the fall, both Sorenson and Tenorio are most excited to even have a season. The season’s cancellation last spring has made many of the runners on the team appreciate the sport more and not take a single practice or meet for granted.
“Having missed a season last year I am beyond excited to run and enjoy it this year with the best teammates I could have ever asked for. There’s nothing like being surrounded by the people you love at the moment you cross the finish line and then being there to see others succeed,” Tenorio said.
Some runners haven’t run certain races in a year or two because of COVID-19, so this outdoor season is a chance for them to show off all their hard work and talent. Steeplechase runners for example haven’t ran that specific race in two years, so this outdoor season will be an opportunity for them to stand out.
“As a steeplechase runner, it’s been almost two years since I have done a steeplechase race. Having the opportunity to compete in this race again outdoors is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Sorenson said.