Things we get to see this fall season: Hope chasing Deja Vu

Photo courtesy of @ethsports Twitter feed

Photo courtesy of @ethsports Twitter feed

Peter Barbato, Assistant Sports Editor

After a strong showing and 10th place finish at this year’s CSL South Championship, senior Hope Leman looks to keep her foot on the gas heading deeper into the postseason.

“The meets this year have been significantly smaller, which makes it harder to get the same energy as other years, but now that we are entering the postseason, I think everyone is pretty pumped to see what we can do,” Leman said.

Similar to many other Fall sports, cross country has been impacted heavily by COVID-19. With fewer opportunities to compete and limited spectators, Leman discovered races weren’t what they used to be.

“Typically, we’d race against only one or two other schools. Sometimes spectators are not even allowed, which makes it hard, since there are less people cheering. I have only run three [races] so far, and the season is almost over. And since the meets are a lot smaller, it’s been hard to find competition to push me to my fullest potential,” Leman said.

Despite not performing her best during the regular season, Leman is looking to harness her postseason abilities as the state tournament nears. Leman placed 27th at state last year with a personal best time of 17:22. She led the Kits at this year’s CSL South Championship placing 10th with a time of 19:07. 

Leman also spoke to how training has differed. In an effort to follow COVID-19 guidelines, it was necessary for the team to break up into smaller “pods,” which meant the whole team would be interacting much less.

 “The team is split into three different pods based on a time trial at the beginning of the season for training. We are not allowed to ride the same bus, run in the same races or practice together, which is a big bummer,” Leman explained.

Even with fewer competitions and a skewed practice schedule, the team is focusing on the positives that the season brings.

“Since we are in pods and can’t be together as a whole time, we have done some virtual pasta parties and other events to build up the community. Overall, I think everyone feels grateful our season wasn’t postponed and has handled the different circumstances quite well.” Leman said.

Leman’s chase for her second consecutive state appearance continues on Oct. 24 at the IHSA Hoffman Estates Regional at 9 am.