Covid During Track Season


The spring of 2020 was problematic for spring sports, including track. Most if not all of the season was canceled due to COVID-19. The following year, track meets did happen, but they came with restrictions that made the sport more difficult, such as  having to wear masks, cutting no pointers, and the lack of support.

Athletes were required to have masks on at all times except when they were running, jumping, or throwing. Due to fear of catching COVID-19, some athletes kept their masks on even while competing, which became challenging because it would cause the athlete to run out of breath faster, therefore causing slower times. “I didn’t wear a mask when I vaulted last year because it would get so hot and make it very difficult to breathe during my vaults,” junior Maxwell Boisvert said.   

No-pointers were cut from all meets as well. Teams are allowed five athletes per event: three whose scores count towards the team’s score and two whose scores do not count, no matter how well they finish. There also were typically open races, where any number of athletes could run without it counting to the team score. These are known as no-pointers, and it provided a way for coaches to see where these athletes stand. Because of COVID-19, the no-pointers couldn’t attend these track meets anymore, and only the three athletes (pointers) per event were allowed. This was a big disadvantage to both athletes and coaches. The coaches were not able to see how their athletes performed under pressure, and these athletes did not get the chance to show the coaches what they could do outside of practice. 

There was also the lack of support due to the limitations on could come to track meets. Most participating athletes wanted their friends and family at the meets supporting them while they competed. Passes were given to each of these athletes that would limit them to inviting three people into each meet. For some athletes, this was unfortunate because they had many more friends and/or family who wanted to attend and watch them compete, but with the limit of three, not all could come. Athletes were encouraged to instead video record their runs, jumps, or throws, however it was not the same as having their fans in the stands cheering them on.

Today in the 2022 season most things are back to normal. Masks are optional when not racing, no-pointers are back, and friends and family can watch and support their athlete.