ROCHESTER, Minn. - Many teams lost their 2020 seasons, but the boys' and girls' Century track and field teams are ready to be out there competing.
The Panthers are able to have a season this year.
Practices and meets look a little bit different due to COVID-19.
"We are happy to be having this upcoming season, so we're really grateful that we're back on track after losing our season last year. But COVID has certainly presented challenges for track," says Kris Allen, girls' Varsity Head Coach.
With about 100 girls and about 100 boys out for track this year at Century High School, coaches decided to establish pods.
For example, the boys' and girls' sprinters have three pods of 25 athletes.
Distance runners and throwers have their own pods, too.
The teams have established staggered start times so the pods don't interact.
"We feel like we're going to be able to have a state meet, which we didn't get to do for sports in the fall. So our goal is always let's get to Big 9. Let's try to win Big 9. Then, let's try to send some kids to state," says Allen.
Meets will allow for a limited number of teams and a total of 250 athletes.
The athletes will camp in pods, while spectators need to stay in the stands.
Only the athletes competing are allowed on the field.
Once their event is over, they need to leave the field.
Regardless of the changes, these athletes are simply excited to have the opportunity to compete again.
"Oh, so important. The kids missed their sport so much. This is huge for them to be able to be out, to be with their friends even if they have to be socially distant. They're still out doing things together at the same time," says Allen.
The Panthers are schedule to start the 2021 season Friday in Austin.