SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the track season, but that hasn’t stopped four Harrisburg distance runners from taking it upon themselves to prepare for next year’s cross country season.
Every weekday, and occasionally on weekends, you can find Josiah Scheaffer, Parker Fitzgerald, Gavin Smith and Soren Weeg running around Sioux Falls.
“Without track season we felt that we should start training earlier in the year, just to better prepare ourselves for the cross-country season when it comes,” Josiah Scheaffer said.
It’s been a true team-like effort that’s helped push these four Harrisburg Tigers.
“Us not being able to get together very much during these past two months, it’s been very difficult just to have that motivation to get out,” Parker Fitzgerald said.
“It’s easier to quit if you’re not with people to run with. And it’s a lot better to run with them. It’s more exciting and feel like it goes quicker,” Gavin Smith said.
They’ve also been distance learning for the past two months.
“You were kind of excited at the beginning of it, but now, after a few months of just being alone, it’s kind of boring. You kind of wish you were back in school,” Smith said.
Running has helped fill that social void left by COVID-19.
“We like sometimes talk about the coronavirus I guess, but it’s mostly just talking about what our lives are like right now, and like online school work and stuff,” Soren Weeg said.
“Kind of joke around. Try to get ourselves distracted that way we don’t have to worry about anything else,” Fitzgerald said.
And kept this cross-country team on track for next season.
“Just try to jump ahead of any other team that’s out there right now,” Fitzgerald said.
Josiah will be a senior next year, Parker and Soren are both going to be juniors, and Gavin will be heading into his sophomore season for the Tigers cross country team.