By Adam Kolb
It’s not often that there is only one sport competing at a school, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, that is now the case for the Hutchinson Community College cross country team.
The Blue Dragons will have their first meet on Friday, at Fun Valley, where they will compete in the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic.
The men’s golf team will start its fall slate later this month. But for now, it’s all about Blue Dragon cross country.
For Blue Dragons coach Justin Riggs, it’s finally being able to compete again that has him looking forward to this season.
“It feels good to be back after so many months,” Riggs said. “I’m real excited to see what they can do.”
While cross country is already, by nature, a socially-distanced sport, there will still be precautions at the meet on Friday, as well as all the other meets this season. One of those precautions include socially-distanced camps between teams.
“Coach just wants to make sure everyone is in their own little bubble,” said returning sophomore runner, Teagan Flanagan.
Even though feeling secluded isn’t ideal for runners, it’s a safer way to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
The cross country runners will be the only Blue Dragon team participating at home until 2021. Despite this, the pressure to compete at a high level is normal according to coach Riggs. However, there is a sense of pride in being the only team competing.
“I think it’s really special to us,” said sophomore Megan Miller. Overall, cross country will compete in six events this semester, from September-November.
While the start to this semester hasn’t been completely normal, cross country coming back is a step closer to getting back to the way things were. Although not a perfect scenario for the runners, it’s one they don’t mind.
“We’re racing,” Flanagan said. “That’s all that matters.”