SOMERS, N.Y. – You’ve heard of distance running before. But about how social distance running?
The competition-starved Somers track and field team jumped at the opportunity to “host” Arlington High School in the Tuskers Quarantine Invitational, a hopefully one-time event running from Friday, April 24, to Sunday, April 26.
Boys and girls from both schools will compete in seven events across three days while adhering to state-mandated social distancing policies. Many of the events have been altered for at-home competition, accounting for both lack of space and equipment.
Instead of discus or shot put, the throwing competition, for example, will involve a two-handed overhand toss of an inflated basketball. And because most student-athletes don’t keep exceedingly long tape measures at home, they are being advised to calculate their throws by putting one foot in front of the other.
Another event is simply called the “multi-event.” The goal is to complete six exercises—40 squats, 40 lunges, 20 pushups, 20 punches, 20 sit-ups and 20 leg raises—in the shortest amount of time.
Be it throwing, jumping or running, student-athletes will self-record their results and the location of where they completed the event.
“Everyone’s in a different situation,” said Jesse Arnett, Somers track and field coach. “Some people have treadmills, some kids their parents are allowing them to run on the road.”
If it sounds unscientific, that’s because it is.
“We’re going on the honor system here,” Arnett said. “We’re trying it out and seeing how it goes.”
Some kids only have the ability to perform a few events while others are trying all seven.
“I told them, ‘Whatever you can do, however you can do it.’ We’re not being too picky,” Arnett said. “It’s really just about encouraging the kids to stay active during this time.”
The matchup with Arlington was a natural choice, given that Arnett’s father, Steve Arnett, is the coach of the Admirals.
The virtual meet is optional. But many student-athletes, suffering from a severe case of cabin fever, were eager to train with purpose again and put their skills to the test against another school.
“Some kids want competition,” Arnett said. “They’re excited about it.”
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