Run Crest, Run!

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Track and Field is one of the largest sports in the world with nearly every country having a representative at an international meet. This also includes at the high school level where track and field is one of the best sports to participate in (I’m slightly biased…). With Strawberry Crest High School, Track and Field is a varsity only sport. With this intense competition between schools, I asked Gabriel Rosales how he prepared for the season.
When asked about how he believed the season was going to go, he responded with “Going into the season, I felt prepared and was ready for the season to come because of my training over Christmas break and at tryouts seeing that all my teammates had the potential to do incredible things.” While Track and Field is mostly an individual sport, with the exclusion of relays, Gabriel claimed that it helped to have teammates stating, “Having others to motivate you and push you and just having fun is the best thing about the sport.” The strong sense of community and friendship attracts many athletes to join the sport.
Physical preparation is key to making the team but few high school athletes do it like Gabriel Rosales. When asked about his preparations for the season, he started with, “I started training for track at the beginning of November until January which consisted of mileage training which is just longer runs.” The distance he covered within that time is astonishing though. “My first few weeks were averaging 20 miles a week and by the end of my training I was running 45 miles a week.” He also takes one day of the week off for recovery for the rest of the week. This comes out to an average of 7.5 miles per day. However, the sheer amount of running does take a toll. Gabriel stated, “There were days I flat out didn’t want to run, but just keeping a goal in mind gets you through those runs lasting more than an hour.” The determination that he had would not go without reward.
At the first meet of the season, Gabriel was put in three different events to run in. These events consisted of the 4 by 800, the mile, and the 2 miles. He scored third place in all of the events with each scoring the team points. The mileage training paid off with the mile run as his time at the meet tied his personal record (PR) from last year. With reaching the 5 minute 19 seconds time, he knew he “could further improve my time in the mile.” This gave the whole team energy to compete well in the first meet.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first reached the US, it started making some athletes nervous as there were rumors that the season would be shut down and schools would close. The meet before spring break was the Jack Rice at East Bay High School. Gabriel realized how widespread the virus became at this meet. “The 2 mile was the first event of the meet and I was sitting and resting for it. I heard screaming and then heard the meet got canceled so that was weird because I never heard a whole meet being canceled due to a disease. After that, school was postponed and I knew we might never be getting our season back.” This pandemic crushed the hopes of athletes around the US as it affected the NCAA as well.
With the virus ruining chances of the season starting again, some athletes returned to their previous workouts. According to Gabriel, “I switched again to mileage training with longer runs instead of the workouts we did during the track season.” However, once the virus started spreading exponentially, athletes had to rework how they would be able to work out. “I did stay at home except when I went running I was at the risk of getting sick. So my parents bought me a treadmill for me to keep training and continue running even though we are in quarantine.” As long as this pandemic is having a serious effect, social distancing and quarantine will be required. In these troubling times, I hope everyone stays safe and wishing the best of health to everyone. Go Chargers.