Track and Field look to return strong

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Photo by Simpson Athletics

by Cole Poots , Staff Reporter

Ten and a half months removed from competition, the Simpson Track and Field team look to shake off the rust in their first meet on Feb. 6. in Dubuque.

Head coach Dave Cleveland mentioned that it’s been all about retraining the athlete’s brains to get back in the routine of preparing for a season amidst the long delays, pauses, and cancellations caused by the pandemic over the last year.

 “We were one of the few sports to lose a season last year,” Cleveland said. “These kids put in a good fall and indoor season last year and then COVID-19 hit. Most of them haven’t competed in about a year. With that being said, kids are going to train but eventually there are going to be roadblocks. In the fall we took advantage of being able to start training early, building some fitness, and getting back to what it felt like before everything stopped.” 

 As the athletes look to loosen up the tension from inactivity, another big hurdle this offseason for many was deciding if they should even come back and compete again for the 2021 campaign.

 Being away from a sport you love for so long, having to jump through hoops constantly as everyone keeps adjusting month by month has caused a lot of reflection to occur from the team before making a commitment to push against all the obstacles.

 “I think it’s been a different year for athletes coming back after being away so long,” Cleveland said. “Is it worth it? Do I really want to continue doing this? They’ve had to reevaluate. It’s important to be thinking about what is best moving forward. I keep encouraging kids to not get too far into their heads and be patient.”

 Despite the patience it took to get to be less than a week away from their first meet, the Storm on going to lean on leadership from Katelyn Mangold, Jamie Glanz, Cat Lucht, Craig Garrison, Mason Spree, Elliott Meyer, and Spencer Moon to propel them to a strong start this year.

 Spencer Moon, a returning sophomore school record holder, talked about how the team is in a good position to do very well this year as long as they can get out of their own way.

 “I think we just need to stay out of our own way.” Moon said. “We had a really good cross-country season. I think we need to continue to hold ourselves to high standards, not overthink it too much, and do what we do best.”

 Like any other sport, the more time you spend away from it the more likely your mechanics aren’t going to be as sharp as you need them to be when it’s time to perform.

 Jamie Glanz, a returning senior mentioned she knows rust is going to be a huge factor of discomfort for her the first time she steps out there to compete.

 Glanz, who handles the bulk of many different responsibilities ranging from high jump to long jump to hurdles to shot put to 800 to relays understands once she shakes off the debris, she’ll have a prime opportunity to reach the podium this year, something she’s been eyeing for a while now.

 “I will definitely be rusty especially since I studied abroad last semester,” Glanz said. “I’m anxious to get out there. I just have this attitude with track where I’m not going to let anything stop me. I can’t control the outside circumstances. I can control my attitude. I can control my perspective. I can control my training. I believe if I put the time in then I’ll see the results. I’ve had the goal of getting on the conference podium. I think I have a good chance of getting there this year.”

 The optimism of the team remains high as they head into their first meet of 2021.

 The Storm heads to Dubuque to participate in the Dubuque/Loras Triangular on Feb. 6.