After a covid-whirlwind of no post-season or indoor meets, the 2021 indoor track season could easily be defined as disappointing.
Covid negatively impacted the sport last season, as the
meets were virtual, which meant the races were outside, against one’s own teammates. The times would then be compiled with other Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) schools.
This format not only eliminated competition, but the team-building significance of an indoor track meet. What used to be a team bonding bus ride to running alongside other schools around the state, turned into freezing and lack of exciting runs.
To round out last season’s postseason, Eastern FCIAC Championships, FCIAC Championships, State L/LL Championships, and State Opens, were terminated. Ending the discombobulated season without a proper pomp and circumstance.
This season, however, in-person meets are taking place and things seem to be returning back to normal. From the high ride of fall sports, there were high hopes for this indoor track season. But, the reinstatement of mandatory masks inside on December 22, 2021 did hamper the anticipation for this season.
Fairfield Ludlowe indoor track captain Nadine Jefremow answers the question if it is mentally harder to run with a mask on by responding, “Yeah, because it is easier to get in your head about how you can’t breathe sometimes.”
And, sadly Todd Parness, Fairfield Ludlowe Athletic Director, attended a CIAC meeting on Jan 12, 2022 where he reported that masks for winter sport athletes are still necessary. This means that CT athletes still have to wear a mask for indoor track meets.
Even though there are high hopes for the next indoor track season, nerves are always jumping and energy is often on edge before a race with a mask on. But Captain Jefremow says “Just try to make the best of it. Because obviously it is not the ideal situation but at least we are having this season and at least we get to run against other schools that are challenging us.”
And, as far as the coaches, Parness says, “The rules and expectations for the coaches are always to follow whatever rules or guidelines are in place at the current time.” In other words, the indoor track team as an organization is adapting to any changes, ensuring the best season for everyone.
All in all, any season is better than nothing, and it is experiences like these that make us appreciate normalcy that much more!