The winter season in Middle Country was an experiment to see whether high school sports can function during COVID-19. But despite the safety regulations and the everchanging nature of life during a pandemic, Middle Country’s Boys Winter Track team made their mark through an exceptional season.
A message from the Winter Track coach, Nicholas Adler: “The boys really stepped up to the challenge this winter. They had a great understanding that they were the first team to return to play and that their ability to follow protocol would hopefully open the door for more sports to return. They not only handled the adversities of COVID-19 and competing outdoors through the winter, but also defeated their opponents with personal records and convincing victories.”
The track team had an undefeated season with a decisive 3-0 tally. This is even more impressive because the track team has not had a win in a while. There were supposed to be two other meets but they had to be canceled due to inclement weather. Although it is hard to gauge the possible outcomes of those meets, they would have given the team a chance to be 5-0.
The effect of COVID-19 on turnout in high school sports is also curiously shown by the winter season. The total amount of athletes taking part in the team was way less than the amount seen in the last Spring season. There was basically no new freshman on the team. But the effects of the epidemic were felt by other teams even more than Middle Country. Some of the schools the MC team faced had less than even a dozen athletes.
Winter Track meets usually take place in an indoor facility in a normal year. Due to the COVID restrictions, the meets had to be performed out in the cold like the practices. This certainly resulted in slightly slower times(for races) and distances(for jumps and throws) this season. Practicing also faced obstacles. It snowed much more this year than previous ones and this meant a lot of practices were held in the hallways of Newfield High School instead of the track. Many of the athletes who do Winter Track also take part in Spring Track. As such, it is worthwhile to wait and see how the team performs in better conditions. Coach Adler hopes to continue this winning streak in the warm spring weather.