Jaime Diedel races to the finish line

Jamie+Diedel%2C+Izzy+Dahms%2C+Jayme+Corrado%2C+and+Megan+Gambogi+%28from+left+to+right%29+gather+together+at+their+annual+league+meet+in+2019.

Submitted Photo

Jamie Diedel, Izzy Dahms, Jayme Corrado, and Megan Gambogi (from left to right) gather together at their annual league meet in 2019.

TOWAMENCIN — She has been waiting for this moment all day long. Senior, Jaime Diedel packs her belongings with excitement, wanting nothing more than to be out on the track with her teammates. 

“For me, my team has been my escape from Covid, I look forward to practicing each and every day,” North Penn senior Jaime Diedel said. 

For me, my team has been my escape from Covid, I look forward to practicing each and every day.”

— Jaime Diedel

Being an active member of the varsity girls cross country and track team, Diedel is constantly racing for the finish line. 8th grade was the year that started it all—the year she first set foot on the track. 

“I started running competitively in 8th grade and got more serious once cross country started in 9th grade because it opened my eyes and made me realize that running was something that I was good at,” Diedel said.

Diedel is currently running winter track for North Penn and making the most out of the remainder of the bizarre season. 

“Practices have been normal, but we have to be outside for the most part if the weather permits it, so even if it’s 34 degrees, we are outside, whether it’s in the bus circle or in the parking lot,” Diedel said.

Not only has the track team been hampered by the relatively “normal” restrictions and implications they have made to their season, but they also are limited with regard to the space they have on campus due to the Crawford Stadium renovation.

“We don’t have a track, which actually makes it really hard because it’s not just girls track but boys too, so we have to share the North Penn property and work with what we have,” Diedel said.

Winter 2021 has not been kind to the North Penn track team as they have had multiple practice cancellations due to the snow and below-freezing temperatures. 

“If it’s too cold outside to run, they allow us to run the halls of North Penn as long as we have masks on and follow all of the guidelines,” Diedel said.

Meets for the girls have been an experience that required getting used to for sure, as it is hard enough to breathe while racing even without wearing a mask, which makes it that much more difficult. 

“It’s funny because what normally is an indoor season has been almost entirely outside. We have been having what they call ‘Polar Bear meets’ outside on the track, which will hopefully benefit us, in the long run, to help us better prepare for our Spring season,” Diedel said. 

The absence of nationally ranked meets such as indoor districts, states, and the annual ocean breeze classic ultimately means the absence of competition, which hopefully will be restored in the Spring.

“We have been doing so well as a team following all of the guidelines and precautions necessary in order to keep everyone safe, I think by this point, everyone’s biggest fear would be for our program to be shut down,” Diedel said. 

It was a long recruiting process just because of the unfortunate timing of Covid but it’s all new and exciting.”

— Jaime Diedel

Stepping off the track, Diedel is an active member of Girl Up and French club and deems her academics equally as important. 

Her legs have carried her further than she could have ever imagined, as she is proud to say she is furthering her academic and athletic career, in both cross country and track, at Bloomsburg University. 

“It was a long recruiting process just because of the unfortunate timing of Covid but it’s all new and exciting,” Diedel said.