Runners stopped in their tracks as season never leaves starting blocks

On April 3, the California Interscholastic Federation released a statement regarding 2020 spring sports. The decision was to cancel spring Section, Regional, and State Championship events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WCAL, in a follow-up to the decision made by the CIF, also confirmed the cancellation of all spring events for this school year.

This significant decision came as bad news for all Riordan spring athletes, including the senior track and field athletes who were looking forward to one final race, throw, or pole-vault.

Kyle De Asis ’20 said, “Finding out that I wasn’t able to race this season was devastating news. I worked my hardest during the off season and it kills me that I couldn’t show my true potential. I was really looking forward to seeing how fast I can be.”

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has affected many sports, events, and people around the world. Before the CIF and WCAL canceled all 2020 spring sports, the NCAA had also decided to cancel remaining winter and spring championships due to coronavirus concerns. However, on March 30, the Division 1 Council voted on allowing schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their eligibility period.

The Archbishop Riordan track and field team was looking forward to a successful season, especially the senior athletes. Some were looking to break records and improve their personal best, while others were planning on using the season as a proving ground in order to test their potential.

EJ Odocayen ’20 explained, “This last season was going to be a proving ground for me to see if I could qualify for big invitationals like Arcadia and the Central Coast Section Championships. It was definitely valuable to me  in that it was my last shot to prove how competitive I truly can be.”

James Yu ’20 stated, “I mostly miss competing with others, pushing each other to be better, and improving ourselves.”

The future is uncertain for the seniors. They will continue to train, but will focus on their college education. Odocayen is planning to walk on to Santa Clara University’s team in hopes of running for the Broncos.

The cancellation of the 2020 track and field season is heartbreaking for the seniors. However, the past three years brought them good memories and life-long relationships.

Aside from the athletes, the Riordan coaches were also looking forward to this season.

Coach Benny Willers ’08 said, “To all the seniors who have lost their last high school season and to all the athletes who lost a season in general: Keep your heads up high. Cherish the moments you had and understand that you will have many more moments in your life to cherish. Whether they involved sport or not, all moments are what we make of them.”