ARC women’s track & field team returns to practice

The team can practice together despite competitions not resuming until spring 2022


American River College runners Eleanor Velez, Hannah Montague, and Jessica Swingle compete in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase during the 31st annual beaver relays on March 4, 2016 at ARC. Vasquez finished 2nd, Montague finished 3rd, and Swingle finished 4th in the event. (Photo by Matthew Nobert)

The American River College women’s track and field team has returned to on-campus face-to-face practice for the spring 2021 season. Practice will continue throughout the spring season, however, competitions may not return until 2022.

Due to the pandemic, the ARC women’s track and field team lost a lot of time and athletes throughout the year. According to Jeanette Powless, ARC women’s track and field head coach, there has been downsizing in the number of athletes on the team. 

We usually have between 20-30 women, but currently have only about 15 ladies,” Powless said. 

However, according to Powless, there are some incoming athletes interested in joining the team in the next upcoming spring season, where they may be returning to normal competitions and face-to-face practice.

Before returning to face-to-face practice, the women’s track and field team continued to practice through the use of virtual resources. Coaches would provide athletes with resources for work-outs and exercises through Canvas, along with virtual Zoom meetings. Each event group had found a way to continue to practice as a team while being virtual.

In order for the team to practice in a regular face-to-face environment, each athlete has to have tested negative for COVID-19 every two weeks, as well as submitting on-campus daily health screenings. Social distancing is enforced by grouping the athletes into groups of 10 or less, with six feet social distancing guidelines in place. A wristband is provided to each athlete after routine temperature checks, mandatory masks are enforced and sanitation has taken place to show the women are clear to practice.  

“We are all excited to be back face to face, but it’s not normal circumstances yet,” Powless said.