COVID-19 strips away my last track and field season

Don’t take your passions for granted


Carissa Prestholdt

As soon as Gov. Tim Walz decided to temporarily close all schools March 18, I knew my senior year track season was not going to be normal. 

After running track and field at the high school since the eighth grade, there was a possibility of my last season being cancelled. For a while, I still had hope if we went back I could finish what I started training for years ago. 

Before the season officially ended, my coaches provided training plans, team bonding and core workouts through Google Meets three times a week. I tried to be optimistic, but as time went on and the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise, the odds of going forth with my last season seemed to be getting smaller and smaller.

Gov. Tim Walz announced April 23 that all K-12 schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year because of the pandemic — which meant the end of my career as a high school athlete. The school closure meant that I lost my last chance at a high school personal record, memories with my closest friends and final season as a captain. 

Even though I knew that there was no possibility of continuing high school sports in the midst of a pandemic, I was still shocked to hear that it was officially over. I was angry that my high school running career ended so abruptly, but I didn’t know who to be upset with. 

That’s when I began to accept that there was no one to blame and I would just have to move on. The end of a five year journey was ripped away from me, but I learned that you can’t take life for granted. I now have college track and field to look forward to and those moments will be even more meaningful knowing that I have them.