Running like their lives depend on it—because in some cases, they do

Kayla Charles
The girls gather at the Spring States meet 2019 with the many medals and trophies they have won.

TOWAMENCIN — Runners stand in their lanes, making quick movements with the desperate intention of relieving their last-minute jitters. With sweaty palms, they adjust their blocks and prepare themselves both mentally and physically. Squatting down into position, fingertips on the line, and at this point, the mentality of the athlete is everything. “Runners to your marks…set…” Pew! And just like that… the runners are off, digging their spikes into the track stride after stride. 

This visual is only a recurring dream for many of the runners at North Penn as they haven’t had a season in well over a year. Track and Field is a sport that takes time and diligence and by the end of the season, your blood, sweat, and tears are left out there on that track. 

Covid has impacted the Track and Field team at North Penn immensely because of the timing it struck them. March 4th: the first day of spring sports. March 13th: the day the state was shut down. The Knights were forced to put an end to their season at the very start. The runners haven’t had real competition since last winter, deterring many of the athletes from running in college.

Head Coach Brandon Turner believes that his athletes are more than ready to compete. For every door that closes, a new one opens and provides opportunity. 

“The girls are looking great and are putting in the work to no ends in order to make this coming season a success,” Turner said. 

Track and field is a sport like no other, especially when it comes to recruiting because it is a time-based sport. Field sports tend to have recruiters physically come to showcases and watch the athletes compete. This is one of the main differences between sports like soccer and football compared to track. This is also one of the biggest setbacks for our runners who plan to run collegiately. The runners have not updated their times, which are nearly a year old, making it harder to advance in the recruiting process. 

Senior, captain, and four-year varsity letter winner, Megan Gambogi, avidly plans on running collegiately, but her plans are far from solidified due to the pandemic. She is anxiously waiting for the spring to see what is in store for her senior season at North Penn. She has been training every day to prepare for the Spring with high hopes of personal records and maybe even district and state titles. 

“All throughout quarantine I have been running 6 to 7 days a week and I even ran cross country this year for the first time,” Gambogi said.

With the uncertainty of the virus, Gambogi wasn’t sure whether or not she would have her senior season on the track team, so she decided to take a leap of faith and try out cross country. Despite their shortened season, she was grateful for the fact that she was able to compete and get the extra training in. 

With the vaccine on its way, the likelihood of spring sports starting up is greater than ever before. Many of our athlete’s careers are on the line this season—it is now or never. Our track and field runners are ready to hit the track, break records, set state/district titles, and become champions.