Practicing in a Pandemic: Waves XC welcomes a virtual beginning 

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Courtesy of Brian Burnes

MSMS’s cross country team has already started competing this year.

Kate McElhinney, News Editor

With the potential threat of more online school looming in the future, it has proven challenging for student athletes to remain positive in regards to their sports seasons. However, even in the midst of a global pandemic, the MSMS Cross Country (XC) team continues to persevere. 

Last year’s XC team had the most decorated season in MSMS history, placing third at the state championships. The new team has to live up to high expectations, but senior and team captain Luke Bowles expressed optimism for the season.

“Honestly, I think we can be as good as ever,” Bowles said. “I know that if we have enough people with the right mindset, then I know that we can reach great heights. I think that we have the potential to win state.”

Although the team cannot practice together, students are training individually and recording their times in an Excel spreadsheet, so they can still track their progress throughout the season. Senior Skylar Nichols discussed her training methods, as well as her hopes for the season.

“Training is different this year. I run on my own at home rather than at an actual practice. But we have Zoom meetings and submit our times to help with progress,” Nichols said. “Despite the many obstacles we have, I am really excited for this season. Overall I hope to enjoy the time with the team and new juniors we have, and I hope we do well at the meets.”

Similarly, junior Carter Miller has found ways to keep himself in shape for the upcoming season.

“I went on a five mile trail in preparation for the meet Saturday to make sure my body was still in check. I ran 3.1 miles and walked the rest” Miller said. “I have also been practicing and playing soccer every week to help myself keep fit.”

The team’s first meet was Saturday, Sept. 12, and it was held in Tupelo. Because students live in various locations across the state, runners transported themselves to and from the event. Miller expressed his hopes and concerns for the season.

“As for the season, I’m not too sure what to expect. It’s been somewhat hectic because of the pandemic, and that affects all aspects of everyday life, so I’m wondering if my normal performance could suffer because of that,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to this year, though, because my old school’s team has always been small and undisciplined. I’m hoping this team will be a great opportunity to improve and learn, and I’m sure Coach Burnes is going to be an amazing coach.”