Track and field canceled due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many sports and stripped the athletes short of their successes. The men and women’s track and field season was in its prime when the coronavirus first struck, leaving many athletes with the question of, “What if?”

The Broncos were looking forward to attending three different meets the weekend of March 13-14, as the team split up to travel to different locations to showcase its talents. Some of the Broncos anticipated the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton to secure more provisional and national marks, while others were supposed compete in the Occidental Spring Break Classic at Occidental College in Eagle Rock on March 14. The third meet was set for sophomore Ayana Fields to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

Freshman Skye Lattimore jumped 5.11 meters in the long jump at the Rossi Relays on Feb. 22 to kick off her outdoor season. (Courtesy of Chuck Utash)

After finding out that these meets were canceled due to the coronavirus in an email from head coach Chris Bradford, the news got worse for the Broncos. Their entire season came to a sudden end in the span of three to four hours.

Fields was beyond excited to compete against the best of the best competitors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She heard the devastating news in person from her coaches the day before she was supposed to compete at nationals.

“I was disappointed because the outdoor season just started, and I knew my team and I were going to do some great things this season,” Fields said. “This journey isn’t over yet, and I’m going to come back with twice as much energy.”

With Fields being a sophomore, she is fortunate to say she is able to compete again for the Broncos.

On the other hand, the seniors don’t get the same chance for redemption as this was their last season to push themselves to their greatest abilities.

The women’s track and field season started before the men’s since they had the opportunity to have an indoor season this year, but it didn’t make it any less hard for the women.

“It took me a while for me to accept that my senior season was gone, and I would most likely never compete again,” senior Imani Williams said. “I’m taking it day by day and just focusing on my classes now. I know that it was cut short for good reasons, and there’s bigger things going on.”

The men’s season had barely started, which left many of them distraught. Not only has it affected the whole track and field team emotionally, but physically as well.

Freshman Kailen Smith started his 2020 season jumping 1.93 meters in the high jump at the Rossi Relays on Feb. 22. (Courtesy of Chuck Utash)

“Because I am a senior, this was my last year and … it wasn’t even possible to get that year back, so pretty much my senior season was done after two meets,” senior Ryan Peacock said. “Dealing with the season being cut off has been hard for me because I’m an athlete, we are constantly outside, around people and most importantly active.”

The coronavirus pandemic has left the whole track and field team with a lot of “what ifs,” but the communication between the coaches and the team has made it easier to take it day by day for the team. As of now, the season has been left with deep sorrows, but hopes for a chance of redemption for next season.

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