For many of the Lutheran North senior track & field athletes, hearing that their high school season was going to be canceled was a heavy blow to take.
But the athletes continue to train on their own and set personal goals.
“I was truly excited for the season because it was my last year, and I got better over the summer. I wanted to help our team win state," said senior Jalik Smith.
Jalik like others were saddened by the news following Governor Parson's announcement that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the year. As a result, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) announced the cancellation of all remaining athletic events for the 2019-20 school year.
“This decision is very difficult for all involved especially given the impact it will have on our students, parents, coaches, teachers, and administrators throughout the state,” said MSHSAA Executive Director Dr. Kerwin Urhahn. “We thank all of the participants, the coaches/directors/advisors, the administrations, the parents, and everyone else who has dedicated tremendous amounts of time, passion, and effort to these events.”
Teams have not been permitted to practice together either, so athletes' training looks a bit different from the norm.
“My teammates would usually motivate me through tough workouts. Not having that support system sometimes creates setbacks in my workouts,” Jalik said. Despite not having the rest of the team to train with, he has been doing drills and running on his own.
Senior Braiden Wade has been running to work for exercise, as well as doing the workouts that are provided in the track group chat. “I was mad at the fact that I wouldn’t be able to beat 6’4” in high jump because of a shortened season and that I couldn’t train future athletes," Braiden said.
Jalik took fourth in state in the 4X200 relay last year. Though he feels the same disappointment, he is remaining positive. "Regardless if we can complete together, individually, we can still work to overcome and achieve greater things than we did in prior seasons," he said.
In 2019, Lutheran North had 11 track and field athletes medal at state with the boys' team bringing home a fifth-place finish overall.
Josh Hopkins and Jordyn White both took second in the long jump. Josh additionally took third in the 200M. Secondo Kaka made the podium in eighth place in the 3200M run.
Three different relay teams brought home some hardware.
Cameron Griffin, Jordynn Parker, Jerrell Carter, and Jakobe Hopkins took fifth in the 4X400.
In the 4X200, Cameron Griffin, Joshua Hopkins, Jalik Smith, and Jordynn Parker took fourth.
And Siyanbola Animashaun, Jordyn White, Leah Hodges, and Taylor Robinson took sixth in the 4X100.
Written by LN Junior, Ellie Jander