Athletes in cross country, track and field, golf and tennis got the go-ahead to return to modified practices by the WIAA

By George Edgar
For West Sound SportsPlus

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Athletes at Bainbridge High School are finally getting to work out for the possibility of an upcoming season.

Bainbridge’s athletes got the go-ahead to start training in what the WIAA considers low-risk sports such as cross country, track and field, golf, and tennis. The Spartans in those sports have been working out since September 30 at the high school and at local parks on the island in what is being called “out of season training.”

“We’re going through specific procedures that have been much revised,” said cross country coach Anne Howard Lindquist. “We’ve been in small groups, with Covid-19 guidelines in place. That’s all good.”

The rest of Kitsap County is on hold with their athletic programs, but Bainbridge forged ahead, although carefully and within guidelines from the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA). Bainbridge Island has had the fewest Covid-19 related cases in all of Kitsap.

Bainbridge High School athletes hit the track this week in preparation for what they hope is the opening of Season Two during the coronavirus lockdown. The WIAA opened an ‘out of season’ training session for low-risk sports such as cross country, track and field, tennis and golf. (George Edgar/West Sound SportsPlus)

“For all the programs, it’s been a real line shift,” said coach Lindquist. “There’s lots to be changed, yet it’s keeping the spirit of the team.”

“They’re all doing great,” said Bainbridge athletic director Jim Corsetti. “Athletes and coaches are doing their jobs, and every protocols are in place.”

Cross country will be part of season three according to the WIAA, in March and April, as opposed to its usual fall season. Cross country runners who had their track seasons wiped out last spring have been working out on their own, and have maintained their running shape since then. Most have come into the workouts in top condition.

The cross country team has worked out at Hidden Cove Park, Battle Point Park as well as the high school track since the start of the training season. Lindquist says the team has some athletes turning out who have never participated in cross country.

“It’s not a normal cross country season,” said Lindquist. “There’s no competition, it’s purely training. It gives them time to train without competition.”

To comply with WIAA guidelines, cross country runners work out in small groups, staggered throughout the afternoon. Each group works out for an hour, but not until taking a temperature check, sanitizing their hands, and being asked a few questions about their health to determine how they’re feeling.

The same is for track and field athletes who are working out at the high school stadium. Small groups of five workout, only lowering or taking their masks off for physical activity, and maintaining social distancing guidelines. Each athlete who arrives at the stadium has their temperature checked by track coach Andy Grimm, before starting their workouts.

“It’s more of a fitness workout,” Grimm says. “Theoretically, if everything goes as planned, we’ll have a season. We could pick up things after the holidays, and get workouts organized.”

Grimm’s son, Alec, works with the throwers, and they have some added rules to follow when it comes to the equipment that they use like the shot put and discus.

Bainbridge track and field coach Andy Grimm takes the temperature of a student-athlete this week in preparation for what athletes and coaches hope is the opening of Season Two during the coronavirus lockdown. The WIAA opened an ‘out of season’ training session for low-risk sports such as cross country, track and field, tennis and golf.
(George Edgar/West Sound SportsPlus)

Alec Grimm pointed out that each individual picks an implement they will use for the day and only use that one. In the case of sophomore thrower Elias Roa, he uses a pair of shot puts for the workout. When he is done with them, the weights are then wiped down and put away until the next workout. There will be no sharing.

“I guess it’s all right,” Roa said of the rules. “It’s not bad; it’s just good to be back.”

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