Cross country overcomes COVID-19 challenges

Olivia Caggiano, Copy Editor

The UIL has implemented several  modifications in order to accommodate rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. 

Practices began Aug. 1 with mandatory social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Runners are not allowed to pack-run and must wear masks when warming up and stretching. 

Meets were delayed until the week of Sept 7. Invitational meets may only have up to eight teams competing and only one level (varsity/JV) is allowed to be onsite at a time. Varsity athletes run first and then are bussed back to the school. Once they return, JV athletes are bussed to the course to warm up and compete. 

Schools are allowed to enter up to 10 athletes on each team for each gender, as opposed to the usual seven for varsity and unlimited number for JV. The only exception to these rules is in regards to the district, regional and state meets. The eight teams rule may be exceeded when a district or region has more than eight teams and an unlimited number may be present at the state meet. Only seven athletes are allowed to be entered on the varsity team for the district and post season. 

The post-season is subject to change as well. The top two teams from each district and the top 10 individuals qualify for regionals, as opposed to the top three teams in the past. The top three teams and the top 10 individuals from each region qualify for state, as opposed to the top four teams in the past. 

Aledo cross country ran its first meet, the Aledo Invitational on Friday, Sept. 11. 

The varsity girls team took third place with a score of 50. Individual medalers included freshman Addi Durand placing fifth with a time of 21:50, freshman Payton Weaver placing eighth with a time of 22:07 and junior Ashley Canady placing 10th with a time of 22:23. 

The varsity boys took first place with a score of 48. Individual medalers included junior Isaac Hernandez placing second with a time of 16:49 and sophomore Henry Zedler placing ninth with a time of 18:22. 

JV girls took second place with a score of 71. Individual medalers included junior Ava Bathurst placing third with a time of 23:55 and freshman Aubrey Connally placing sixth with a time of 25:05. 

JV boys took first place with a score of 25. Individual medalers included senior Kevin Kaldenbach placing fifth with a time of 20:33, junior Kyle Kaldenbach placing sixth with a time of 20:36, sophomore Chad Thomas placing seventh with a time of 20:38 and sophomore Thomas Eaton, placing eighth with a time of 20:39. 

The next meet will be the Boswell Invitational on Friday, Sept. 25.