Student athletes cope with postponed competitions after months of uncertainty

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Jacob Bustamante
Local high school student athletes, like senior Jacob Bustamante, weigh in on the recently released CIF-SS sports schedule. Valley News/Runner Space photo

Emily Schwank, Intern

– Facing scheduling changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, student athletes are coping with the reality that their sports may be postponed or canceled in response.

A schedule for state and regional championships was released recently by the California Interscholastic Federation. Sports such as cross-country, which usually ends around October, have been extended well into March.

Girls’ tennis, a fall sport, has now been combined with boys’ tennis, and students will compete as late as June.

Additionally, sports such as track and baseball were canceled in March, very early in the season.

Reid Poltl, a senior who lives in Temecula and runs track and field, said, “After training since summer, (track) got canceled after the first meet.”

Swimmer Nate Marble, a senior at Chaparral High School, said, “The remainder of my high school season was canceled altogether.”

After their seasons were canceled, these athletes had to decide whether or not they wanted to continue to train for almost a year before competing again.

In some cases, students compete in both fall and spring sports. While these students still face uncertainty, they will likely be able to compete as early as December, according to the recent CIF schedules.

Fall sports are running from late December to early April, and the spring sports are running from mid-March to June. Athletes in both fall and spring seasons will be competing back to back from December to June.

Jacob Bustamante, a senior who lives in Temecula and competes in both track and field and cross-country, said, “Our coaches have continued contact with practice schedules and other news.”

With these practice schedules, Bustamante has been running every day and continuing his training even though he is not certain when he will compete again.

Despite the uncertainty, Poltl said, “I just hope I can compete next year.”

“Despite the absence of swim practice, I still think I’ll be excited for next season when the time comes,” Marble said.

Emily Schwank can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.