Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lots of Pain, No Gain

A lot of track coaches will tell you, no pain, no gain.  It's a point I won't argue.  You have to work if you want to be a good track and field athlete.  But this is the blog that I didn't want to write, prayed I wouldn't have to write and took more than a month to get around to.

Southwest Florida's high school track and field season came to a COVID-19 halt just as the season was beginning to get going.  By March the pandemic had brought the season to a screeching halt just as the area's top flight athletes were looking forward to big meets at FSU and Florida.  What's sad is this year promised as much history in the girl's middle distances as we saw last spring.

The Oliveira twins of ECS versus versus Jessica Edwards of Canterbury would have made for some epic battles over 400 and 800 meters.  Edwards was also aiming at joining the growing number of Lee County girls to have run 1600 meters under 5 minutes.  These wonderful athletes were robbed of making history.  The twins will go down as two of the best athletes in any sport to have represented their school.

The heartache extends to the boys distances where Estero's Kolton Pickard, Ida Baker's Franklin Caceres and Fort Myers' Liam Holston were rounding into shape for some epic races.  Caceres will take his talents to FGCU.  Fortunately Pickard and Holston will have another year to deepen their rivalry.

There are at least another half dozen athletes looking to make a name this spring.  Steph Ormsby comes to mind.  The Fort Myers senior could have done some special things on the track this spring.  Dunbar had an exceptional sprint team again and a brand new facility that was looking forward to hosting some major meets.  That will have to wait until next spring.

The good news is the finishing touches are being put on a new synthetic track at Cypress Lake High School which will mean good to first rate surfaces at five of the 14 Lee County public high schools.  Racing on asphalt is criminal.

Finally, I wish all of you could have seen a couple of the Instagram posts by the aforementioned Caceres and Edwards.  These two athletes were brave enough to share their time trials over the web as they tried to push themselves to PR's.  It was both entertaining and inspiring.  These two young athletes represent what is best about our sport.   

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