Lindenhurst Track Athletes React to Safety Measures


Anthony Bearese, Staff Writer

So far this season the both the Lindenhurst boys and girls winter track team is currently  1-1  and they have a taste of what a meet is like with the COVID restrictions in place.  The team has experienced both an away meet and a home meet.  At the meets that took place at our home turf at the middle school, they have to do their field events such as high jump, long – triple jump, and shot put prior to the meet for the least amount of contact with the competing school. Runners, coaches and officials must wear a mask at all times, stay six feet apart, no fist-bumps or handshakes with the other team and wash your hands when you can or use hand sanitizer.

During the meets, everything is still that same, but it definitely takes a toll on the runners to be running agents. In the cold weather last year and years prior, the other schools are able to run indoors at on the track at Suffolk Community College. Runners were struggling to stay warm as they were wearing five layers of clothing, snow pants with leggings underneath, double socks, hand warmers, hats, gloves etc. But this year Section XI has given schools the pass to break the uniform requirements to wear extra layers of clothing underneath their singlets and shorts. Two seniors on the winter track team spoke about how they felt about the measures section XI is taking to keep athletes safe and continue the season. Shirley Guenfound said, “The current safety precautions condemned by Section XI have maintained a stable success rate, I feel comfortable attending practice when masks and social distancing are mandatory. It saddens me to not be racing at Suffolk Community College’s indoor track my senior year, yet versing schools one on one is the safest option to still be competing during these times.” Will Rella responded to the same question by stating,  “I feel like section XI is doing a great job about the safety measures protecting all the running athletes from COVID. Stuff like all meets are outdoors and there are limited athletes from the away team they go to the meets. The officials make sure all the athletes are six feet apart in their lanes, strict about masks and many more. I feel very comfortable in meets and I don’t think anything needs to be changed. They are doing great.”

This group of athletes have a long road ahead of them this season but for the moment they seem like they have all their confidence in section XI to keep their season. Hopefully everything will go smoothly the rest of the winter track season for a group of amazing individuals, but only time will tell.