(Photo Credit: Michelle Favret /Used With Permission)
Even amidst the coronavirus, the Academy’s Cross Country team has found ways to continue with their 2020 season.
New measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have been taken. Social Studies Teacher and Cross Country Coach Stacy Filocco said, “This year we are running in a lot fewer meets. Normally we run in eight to ten meets, but now we are only running in four.”
Usually for cross country athletes to qualify for districts, regionals, and states five meets are necessary, but the Florida High School Athletic Association has decided to lift that requirement this year.
Practices, as well as meets, have looked a bit different. Only 15 girls comprise the varsity and junior varsity team, which is very different from previous years
Grace Odmark (22’) said, “The team is a lot smaller now, and I don’t get to talk to everyone while running because it’s staggered, but I’m very happy that we’re still able to run.”
The girls now run in smaller groups of two or three as opposed to in the past where everyone would run together.
It’s also been a great opportunity to explore the city as well. Filocco said, “We’ve been basically on a tour of Tampa. We’ve gone to Cypress Point Park, Safety Harbor, and some loops within the neighborhood. It’s been very enjoyable.”
In meets, coronavirus measures have been strictly enforced. At the start of races, the runners are separated by six feet and have staggered starts. They get their temperatures checked once they arrive at the event and wear their masks at all times, except when running. All of this is in hopes that the virus does not spread and the runners can have their full season.
Despite these challenges, the girls have been very successful. This past Saturday at the annual Tampa Bay Private School Championship Meet, the varsity team placed second in Hillsborough County and second in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties combined. Catie Curtis (‘22) led the way with a second-place finish in Hillsborough County and third overall. Maddie Rodriguez (‘21), Emmy Growcock (‘23), Rachael Petrarca (‘21), and Abigail Chudzinski (‘23) rounded out the scoring for the varsity.
In the junior varsity race, Grace Odmark finished first overall, leading her team to a first-place finish.
The girls are training hard every day and are thankful for their teammates and the way their season is progressing. Chudzinski said, “Even though it was really sad we had to make cuts this year, I’m really happy that we still had a season.”
Senior night was celebrated this past Monday, Oct. 19. Maddie McDiarmid (’21), Rodriguez, Petrarca (’21), and Caroline Caranante (’21) were celebrated at Jesuit High School after the meet with Seffner Christian Academy.