Throughout the season, Malden High School’s cross country team has overcome a momentous obstacle of a year. Even with essentially what was half a year and very little time for conditioning, the cross country team ran a 1-4 season.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the sport, usually reserved for the fall season, was moved into spring. Luckily, with most meets being at home and a good knowledge of the track, the team was able to push through. Coach Sean Weldon was impressed and noted that “during meets, we had a strong start and were able to field one of the largest teams in the league,” even though he was not able to have as much fun with the team as normal.
When asked about the training and how COVID-19 had affected this year, sophomore Eric Mei, a member of the team, mentioned that they “ [had] less time to prepare [themselves] for all [their] meets” since everything was condensed into one month instead of three. Mei expressed that their practices “aren't even practices anymore, they are just cool-downs from [their] last meet...to prepare [them] for [their] next meet.”
Coach Danae O’Bryan, who has been coaching for two years, noticed that her runners were able to stay positive and “[show] perseverance and positivity in spite of a very difficult year.” Junior Crystal Wang, ended her season with almost the exact same time as the year before, despite not having the full season to prepare. Knowing that schools across the GBL struggled with participation, O’Bryan “was happy with the number of students that competed this year. “
Kayla O’Brien, a senior and captain of the team, has been doing cross country for the entire four years she has been at the Malden High School, said that she felt she has improved on “almost everything” and that she was “truly glad her brother was able to get her into it when she was a freshman.” While she is sad that she wasn't able to experience her senior year to its fullest, with the season being cut in half, she also said “If you want to be part of a team that is amazing with amazing coaches, you should join the team, it helps you with your mental and physical health, and it's fun to be part of a team and that's just what cross country does.”