The track and field teams have began their season in cold and windy conditions on top of the hill at Campbell County High School.
Although the conditions were dreadful, many were excited to be back on the track.
“We’re ecstatic,” senior Brandon Long said. “We’re ready to go, and we’re ready to get this season going.”
“We’re really excited,” Olivia Brown continued. “We’re going to have a lot of fun this year, and we’re excited.”
However, the excitement was soon drowned out by the long howl of the winds.
With many gusts raging up to a constant 15 miles-per-hour, it’s making the practices difficult.
On Tuesday, drizzling rain and cold temperatures blowing across the track made the practice almost unbearable for many of the athletes.
“It’s really tough on the kids,” coach Anne Browning said. “We just try to stress the importance of being prepared to the athletes. You can look around and see that most of them have to be prepared for everything. You have to have pants, hats, gloves, parkas, umbrellas, or raincoats. You just never know.”
According to coach Billie Anne Evans, the team has only managed one full day of good weather for practice.
With a chance of snow today, Thursday, and tomorrow, the chances for a clear practice are becoming thin.
“At this point, there’s not anything we can do about it,” Evans said. “If you have lemons, make lemonade. We’ve got to just do the best that we can and prepare them the best that we can.”
For the athletes, it’s a guessing game as to what to prepare for.
As Browning said, they have to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws their way.
“It makes it really hard on us, because some days we’re in shorts and some days we’re in sweat pants,” Brown said. “It makes it difficult training.”
With the winds, athletes say if feels like a constant force pushing against them while they run.
“The cold air, it’s a lot harder to breathe,” Long added. “It’s harder to run. Practice is just a lot longer, it feels like.”
However, the team must press on as they face their first practice meet on Tuesday.
The team needs the time to prepare, as this season is going to be a rebuilding one, according to coach Evans.
The team is comprised of mostly very young runners.
“It’s rebuilding, because we have so many young athletes,” Evans said. “I would say that 75 percent or more of our track team is either freshman and, as we call them, newbies. They’re new to the sport. That makes it an exciting year.”
For the men’s squad, it’s going to be Tyler Greene and Long that will lead the way.
Both of them will be participating in their senior season.
“I’m ready for this year,” Greene said. “This is my senior year, and I’m ready to get going. Hopefully, I can do some whoopin’ up on some people that have been beating me over the years. I’d like to qualify for sectionals and go onto bigger levels.”
Long will be taking his talents to the decathlon.
The two-day, 10-event decathlon will test many of the runners involved.
However, Long knows all-to-well what the events entail.
“Last year was my first time doing it,” he said. “It’s so different from all the other track meets, because you’re doing so many different events on each day. This year, I’m ready to do it. I’m ready to go.”
For Evans, the women’s team is also going to have a promising year.
“As far as runners go, I’m looking forward to what Lindsay King does as a freshman,” she said. “Of course, you’ve got Olivia Brown coming back, which we have named ‘the beast.’”