Minnesota high school track & field returns

Mackenzie Davis
Updated: April 16, 2021 10:39 PM
Created: April 16, 2021 10:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Austin High School hosted its first track and field meet of the season Friday night, after a tough 2020 of canceled high school sports.

"Last year we never got to get a meet in at all so it's good to be back on the track and competing again," Austin track and field head coach, Nancy Jones, said. 

Coaches, athletes and spectators were all excited to be back to what seemed like a sense of normalcy.

"I kind of feel like we've got two freshman classes though because our sophomores never got to compete last year," Jones said.

But because of COVID-19, precautionary measures have to be taken in order to keep everyone safe and the season going.

Like having to limit the number of people at the track in general; having the girls go first and then the boys.

Something else that is new is the athletes are competing in pods.

"So one school gets all of their jumps in and then the next school goes. So we're trying to limit that cross-over between schools," Jones said.

Even within practices, the Austin Packers are split up into pods by event group so they're not as cohesive as they've been in the past.

"But it is what it is and it's what we all need to do," Jones said.

It depends on the event of the athletes need to wear their masks while competing.

"Like for the jumps, for pole vault and high jump, they can take it off while they're competing and then put it back on because it is kind of a hazard and in some of the distance events they can take it down so they can breathe but as soon as they're done competing, we've got to get the masks back up again," Jones said.

Although masks are a concern while competing, they are necessary.

Jones says, especially if you are running an 800, 1600 or a 3200, they try to keep the masks on as much as they can.

Parents had to stay behind the fence to cheer on their athletes, but it was good to be back after a year off.

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