Girls track team battles unpredictable weather


Arth family

At one of their home meets, Taylor Arth participates in a relay where she receives the baton from teammate Brynlee Stoll.

Juliana Denis, Guest Writer

The girls track team faces the problems of uncertain spring weather affecting practices and meets.

As Northeast Ohio saw this week with fluctuating temperatures, head coach Polly Canfield thinks the weather impacts spring sports athletes. She said, “It can be warm and nice outside and then freezing and snowing with the track covered in snow the next [day], so it’s difficult to decide what clothing to bring to practice because you never know what the weather is going to be like.”

Canfield tries to inform her runners by telling them to dress for the weather to steer clear of the negative effects. She said, “I send a lot of emails early on, on Remind, to get our newer, or even just our usual, runners used to the conditions outside, with sometimes not even an idea of the weather. Also, to wear proper shoes, and to make sure you are fitted in the right types of shoes, so that you don’t slip and fall or get hurt.”

Canfield helps her athletes prepare themselves to compete in some of the conditions. Canfield said, “We had one meet that was against Hudson that was super cold [and was] blizzarding snow. Hudson had paid to play, so their coaches really wanted to make sure every runner got into the meet. We ran in the meet, but we had to cut it short because it was probably one of the toughest conditions.”

However, Canfield depends on the head officials and head coaches to decide whether her athletes will run in certain types of weather. She said, “ For practices, the person who decides if we will still attend practice are the head coaches. For meets, it’s really the head official that we hire in combination with coaches as well. Their decision can sometimes have an impact on our athletes because they will decide if athletes have to run or don’t have to run.”

Sophomore Audrey Galgoczy, who runs for the girls track team, believes the extreme low temperatures can make athletes get sick easier or, if they are already sick, cause them to get worse. Galgoczy said, “Some negative effects of having to run track in terrible weather would be getting sick easily because it’s extremely cold. We have to wear very tiny outfits at meets. Having to be out there in the weather with the tiny outfits they give us can lead to getting sick easily since the temperatures are [around] 20 degrees.”

Another sophomore, Taylor Arth, who also runs for the girls track team, believes stretching can’t always solve the problems of running in Mayfield’s unexpected weather. Arth said, “Sometimes when it’s really cold outside, it gets really easy to pull a muscle, no matter how much you stretch; [this} means you’d have to sit out for a few days and miss some of the meets, which is upsetting because you have to watch people do what you like to do.”

Track athletes had to improvise in order to maintain warmth. Galgoczy said, “A lot of people started to bring food or hot drinks like hot cocoa or hide in the bathrooms until their event is up and it’s their time to be outside and ready. The food mostly gives us a ton of energy and helps us maintain a good body temperature. The hot drinks help keep our hands warm as well, because we are holding the warm cups, which makes it easier if you’re running in a relay because your hands won’t be as cold.”

Athletes often get sick from sitting in the rain for hours, therefore avoiding the rain is vital. Arth said, “We’ve started bringing garbage bags for when it’s raining to put all of our stuff into, so that our bags, shoes, and stuff don’t get terribly soaked. When it rains or snows, you get your hair and all your clothes extremely wet, and sitting outside in the cold with wet hair and wet clothes is not good for your body.”

After snowing on Tuesday, the weather cleared up yesterday for the Wildcats to top Kenston and Madison in their home meet. They’re back at home again on May 11 vs. Chardon and Willoughby South.