After cancelled year, track team back up and running


Photo courtesy of Visual Image Photography.

  The Guilford track team is a strong team full of some of the fastest people at school. In track, people run five minute miles and can finish a 100 meter dash in twelve seconds. Track was one of the hardest hit sports last year, with no outdoor season because of COVID.

   “This is different than last year because we are actually getting to run! Last year, our season was cancelled,” said Coach Erin Huels. “We only got 3 indoor meets in before the pandemic hit.”

   However, despite the lack of a season last year, the track team has still managed to be very successful this year. The girls team went to sectionals in Antioch on Thursday 6/3. The teams for 4×1, 4×2, 4×4, and the 800 will be going to state in mid June. The Boys team went to Antioch on 6/4. 

   “The fact that we are not missing our season is a positive,” said Coach Huels. “Last year was hard on our kids. We had girls that may have qualified for state and they didn’t get the chance.  It was rough, so the fact that we are able to compete this year means the world to me and my girls.”

   Coach Greg Taylor has been coaching in the Rockford area for over forty years, and has been coaching the Guilford track team for sixteen years. He has high hopes for this year’s track team.

   “I think we have some athletes that will qualify for state competition this year.” said Coach Taylor. “We all qualify for sectional competitions in track, but going on from sectionals is the state meet, and I think we have some athletes that will qualify for that.”

   In track, there are various different events. There are sprints, from 100 m – 400m; middle distance, 800m and 1500 m; and long distance runs from 3000 m to 10000 m. There are also relays and hurdles. Due to covid, track runners are required to wear masks and try to social distance. However, despite these challenges, there are still some positives.

   “The people have always been the same, but there were a couple of people that other schools lost that were really good, so that’s kinda good for us,” said Jackson Durso, Junior. “Competition’s been pretty normal.”

   For many runners, last year was a strange blip. COVID cancelled the season, so even upperclassmen have only had one or two seasons before this one. 

   “I’ve definitely improved, but last year I didn’t run track because of COVID. We didn’t even have a season at all,” said Durso. “I’ve really only had two seasons: freshman and this year. But from here to freshman year there’s definitely been a huge increase in my performance.”

   However, the spirit of track has stayed the same as it was years before. The team works hard to support each other and grow individually. 

   “I like the togetherness of the team, before and after meets,” said Owen Dahberg, junior. “During the meet is good too. We stand out and support each other on the line as everyone’s finishing. It’s a good atmosphere.”

   However, this year is bittersweet for many senior runners. It’s their final year of high school track, and they missed last year. Even still, some are just happy to get a season at all.

   “It feels amazing to be able to do what I love, even with the circumstances of COVID.” said Esteban Castanon-Duron, senior. “We still get to run, and we still have one more year to give it all we got.”