MSMS Track & Field wraps up first full season

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Courtesy of Brian Burnes

Senior Hailey Manning (pictured) won first place in discus at Track and Field’s state meet.

Jillian Snodgrass, Copy Editor

At its first high-level meet, the MSMS track team closed its season with a first place in discus, a second and third place in individual runs and two other placements.

“The team exceeded all expectations, considering that this was our first full season as a team,” track coach and biology teacher Brian Burnes said. “We were also restricted by having limited practice time since many students were not on campus full-time.”

MSMS’s track and field team was founded in the spring of 2020. Due to covid-19, the team’s first season was cut short before the state meet could take place, so this year’s state meet, held on Saturday, May 1, was the first opportunity the athletes had to compete at a high level.

Juniors Tsetsenkhaan “Chingun” Tsogt-Erdene and Carter Miller and seniors Neil Sanipara and Luke Bowles won fourth place in the 4×800 meter relay. Senior Bryce Harrison won second place in the 3,200-meter run along with third place in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs. In discus, senior Hailey Manning won first place and senior Camille Newman won sixth.

For athletes like Miller who were able to live on campus, the season seemed virtually unaffected by covid-19.

“Last year’s season was completely canceled because of covid, which was disappointing, but this year it wasn’t very significant,” Miller said. “There were still a few small things we couldn’t do here and there, but overall we got to compete almost like a normal season.”

Others, including Manning, had to practice on their own at home and travel to meets, where they would meet the rest of the team for competition.

“The season was definitely a different experience for me because I never got to practice with the team, so I continued to grind at home,” Manning said. “Whenever I was able to be in the company of the rest of the team and compete, it was like I never left.”

For the seniors, this meet was a bittersweet first and last opportunity to compete at the state level with MSMS.

“I loved every second of this season and was happy so many of us got a chance to run at state. It was definitely sad after I finished, but that’s just part of it,” Bowles said.

Burnes praised the athletes’ willpower and dedication.

“Track and Field is offered at MSMS as an opportunity for our students to stay healthy, maintain wellness, and excel if they want to. It is a voluntary activity where one can do as much or as little as they wish. Please congratulate the students who took the time to excel at the State meet.