Junior Athlete Interview

Natalia Plascenica

2020 has drastically changed things from the past years, and high school sports are no different. All sports have had to change their rules and put new regulations in place due to this. Even simple things such as cross country have become more complicated. I interviewed Juventus Martinez, a junior on the cross country team, to get his take on things.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many rules have been changed to meet social distancing expectations. For many sports, these changes have made them much different than how they were originally done. I asked Juventus how cross country has changed for him and his team. He replied “The inability to stay together while running. Last year everyone would just get ready and start running as a big group. Now with social distancing rules, we have to go in groups with a two-minute gap between each group.” He finished by saying “The new rules have also affected our meets, schools can only race one team per meet.” Just by this statement, it’s apparent that cross country has indeed changed drastically. “I’m still looking forward to cross country. I like running and enjoy being able to see my friends and not have to be stuck at home. I think the changes they made were good ones considering the circumstances. They’re just small inconveniences that we have to deal with.” Remarked Juventus when asked what he thinks is going to happen going forward with cross country. Although cross country has changed, it still allows the athletes to enjoy the sport as he said. 

It can be a bit hard to look forward to things such as cross country due to all the changes. I wondered if Juventus was still looking forward to certain events although they may be changed, he stated “I’m looking forward to getting my time down for my three-mile race time’. When asked about goals for the team he responded, “to make it to the conference by winning most of our races.” With all this chaos he has still been able to set goals for himself as well. He told me determinedly “My goal this year is to get a seventeen-minute three-mile time. That will show that all the practice is paying off.” It seems as if during this pandemic, he and other athletes are still able to achieve their goals for this year. It’s good to know that not all sports have been completely put off this year. Let’s hope that sports can continue throughout the year!