Track and field resumes on campus, hopeful for 2021 season

Athletes adapt to COVID-19 precautions while returning for on-campus training

Sara Nevis and Patrick Posuniak

Allisyn Mayhew

Sacramento State’s track and field team has returned for on-campus training for the first time since their spring season was put on hold in March due to COVID-19. 

Coaches created a 12-week training program for track and field athletes to complete at home, which they began in the middle of June and concluded in the middle of August, said Kenny McDaniel, director of track and field. 

“As a track coach, when you send the kids home after the NCAA championships, or even conference, a lot of them just come back out of shape,” McDaniel said. “But I was really surprised with how they came back.” 

The Hornets have been following a strict set of precautions since beginning in-person training on Oct. 1, which includes social distancing, training in small groups staggered throughout the day and wearing a mask. 

Senior sprinter Shilah Bedingfield said although they will stick with the same group of teammates throughout the rest of the year, she still wishes there was a mandatory COVID test required before returning to campus. 

“I personally haven’t heard anyone nervous about catching it, I just think that I feel like they should have tested everyone before we started because we didn’t have to do testing,” Bedingfield said. “It wasn’t a mandatory thing nor was it like a ‘Oh, well you should do it before we start.’” 

Bedingfield said as far as enforcing social distancing and set practice groups goes, they are doing a great job and she is excited to be with her teammates and get her motivation back. 

The Broad Fieldhouse has remained closed throughout the pandemic and has forced athletes to get creative when it comes to weight training. 

Evan Stork, a fifth year thrower, said he has made-do with some barbells and a make-shift set up in his garage. 

“There are some things that we just can’t do because we don’t have everything that we normally do in the weightroom, obviously that’s a pretty state-of-the-art facility,” Stork said. 

Stork said he is excited to be back out there and have that team environment. 

“It doesn’t inspire nearly as well just having one or two people going at the same time as like 10 or 12 of your closest teammates,” Stork said. “That kind of energy is irreplaceable especially in a time like COVID.” 

These Hornets said they continue to stay motivated throughout this time with the support of their coaches and teammates, in hopes that they will get to have a spring 2021 season.