The 2020 spring track season remains questionable due to the COVID-19 state and national closures. The most recent statement (4/1/2020) on the IHSA website is “ we remain optimistic that a May 1 return to school, followed by a to-be-determined acclimatization practice period, can still result in a truncated spring season that culminates with IHSA State Series tournaments and the crowning of state champions in June…...we are also realistic in recognizing that any further school postponements, or the cessation of physical school attendance for the remainder of the year, will almost certainly result in the cancellation of all remaining IHSA sports and activities this school year." Many athletes patiently wait to see what may happen with the current situation. Senior athletes may be even more on the edge of their seats waiting, as they may have run their last high school race or competed in their last high school event without even knowing it.
The track team had begun their indoor track season with the completion of three meets. They were highly anticipating traveling to a meet in the Chicago area against many large 3A schools as well as the prestigious Illinois Top Times meet that is unofficially the “indoor state meet”, however those meets were cancelled. The outdoor season was scheduled to begin on April 4. The team was training and preparing to be their best. The seniors were ready to make memories and end their high school careers with a great season.
While there may not be any meets to report on or race times to report, these senior track members have dedicated many years to a sport they love.
Anna Pierce: Anna is part of the “distance crew”. Anna runs the 400m, 800m, and 4x800m relay. Anna’s favorite race to compete in is the 4x800m relay. Her personal best in the 800m is 2:34. Anna was an alternate for the 4x400m and 4x800m relays that brought home state medals in 2019. One of Anna’s favorite track memories is when the distance girls snuck into Millikin the night before Coach Morey’s birthday and filled his classroom with balloons, posters, and streamers (which came as quite a surprise to him the next day!). Anna will attend St. Ambrose University in the fall.
Anna Girten: Another member of the “distance crew”, Anna runs the 800m, 1600m, and 4x800m relay. Anna’s favorite race is the 4x800m relay and she has run a personal best of 2:35 in the 800m. Anna was an alternate on the 4x800m relay that medaled at state in 2019. Anna shared that one of her favorite track memories was watching her relay team run at the prestigious Palatine Distance Night last year. Anna plans to major in biology at University of Northern Iowa after graduation.
Brynn Johnson: Brynn’s main event is pole vault. However, she has run 100m and 200m sprints in past seasons. Pole vault is her favorite event and she has vaulted 7’ 9”. Brynn’s favorite track memory is having “mat chats” with all of the other pole vaulters after practice. A “mat chat” was when the girls would sit on the mats talking about random things after practice, sometimes for over an hour. Brynn will be attending Arizona State University in the fall. Her goal is to get her bachelors of science in nursing, with an emphasis in neonatology.
Lauren Belvel: Lauren joins many of the other seniors as a part of the “distance crew.” Lauren runs the 800m and 1600m. Her favorite race is the 800m. Lauren has run personal bests of 2:27 in the 800m and 5:41 in the 1600. Lauren was also part of the 2019 state medaling 4x800m relay in 2019. Lauren’s favorite track memory is from last season where she ran the distance medley relay at the Palatine Distance Night. Lauren will continue her academic and athletic career next fall at North Central College. She will be a member of the cross country and track team.
Taylor Smith: Taylor specializes in field events. She primarily throws the shot. However, she will occasionally participate in discus or the 100m. Her favorite event is shot with a personal best of 32’ 6.25”. Taylor shares her favorite track memory is meet days with Abby Reakes. In the fall, Taylor plans to attend St. Ambrose University. She will be studying nursing or pre-med. Taylor will also be continuing her track career as a member of the Bees’ track team.
Elizabeth Roodhouse: Elizabeth is another senior “distance crew” member. Elizabeth runs the 1600m, which is also her favorite event. Her personal best in the mile run is 7 minutes. Her favorite track memory is playing Uno before track meets with the distance team. Elizabeth will attend University of Wisconsin-Platteville after graduation with a major in biology.
Claire Hall: Claire is the final senior member of the “distance crew” running the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. Her favorite event to run is the 1600m in which her fastest time is 5:49. Claire’s favorite track memory is going on long runs with the distance team. Her future plans include attending Black Hawk College as a part of the physical therapy assistant program.
Photos by Kyle Morey