Runners Return

After nearly a year of significant hurdles due to COVID-19, the Lynn Cross Country and Track teams have finally been granted the opportunity to run in their first competition on Jan. 30.

Coach Wood and his athletes have traversed into the unknown as they attempt to continue running despite the pandemic. Unfortunately, many things are different for the team, such as losing three coaches, losing training facilities, and losing competitions. The team and its sole coach are now eagerly preparing for their upcoming seasons regardless of the challenges that COVID-19 has manifested.

“It’s impossible to be fully prepared for something that we did not know was going to happen,” said Chris Wood, head coach. “We have been training, so we are probably physically ready. The mental side is probably lacking at the moment. It is going to feel different racing cross country in January with minimal preparation.”

The shortened and the modified cross country season will be happening in just a couple of short weeks and will be unlike anything that the Fighting Knight runners have experienced. Cross country is typically a fall sport. However, the Sunshine State Conference decided to cancel the season last fall and allow the teams to compete in the spring when things settled down. The Fighting Knights track season will come a week after the conclusion of cross country.

“The biggest thing is the limited practice and facilities. We are only allowed to practice Wednesday to Saturday, and Covid precautions do not allow us to travel off-campus for practice, so we do not get to do much trail running,” said Wood.

It is no secret that the training situation and the altered upcoming seasons are less than ideal, but the team hopes to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. The challenges that the athletes have faced
are similar to the difficulties other Fighting Knight programs and programs around
the world endured. The team is ready for things to get back to normal again with their upcoming competition season.

“Covid has made me think about how much we take for granted,” said Julian Yescas, Lynn Cross Country & Track Athlete. “I think through this break, I have been able to work in a lot of things from nutrition to form training, and I would say I have never been more ready to start back up.”

Due to NCAA guidelines, there will be no spectators allowed at competitions; however, fans can follow along with the cross country and track team at lynnfightingknights.com.

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