Cross Country

Northwest sophomore Lauren Graham runs in the Missouri Southern Stampede Sept. 21, 2019 in Joplin, Missouri. 

Effective Aug. 14, fall sports among the MIAA were put on hold due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.  

It was a gloomy day for Northwest cross country when the MIAA CEO Council announced the suspension of fall sports and the possibility of competition in the spring.

Most cross country athletes also participate in track and field, which occurs during the spring. Some athletes will have conflict in terms of which to compete in. 

Senior runner Tucker Dahle is going into his final season with uncertainty of what will happen throughout the upcoming school year. 

“It is not the outcome we wanted to hear as a team, but we understand that it is what is best for the people to keep everyone safe, even if it is not what we wanted,” Dahle said. “We felt we were prepared for the season to make a run in conference and at a national stage.”

The men’s team had a strong season last year, placing first in its initial meet of the season. The Bearcats ended up pushing through to the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, California, placing fifth in the meet. 

The women’s team also had a strong showing throughout the season, making it to the NCAA Regional Tournament. With many returners to both teams, there was an opportunity for both to achieve further success. 

With the track and field season being in the spring, cross country will hang in the balance until the MIAA provides clarity on the situation.

“It will be weird how it plays out. We could just see a track and field season and no cross country,” Dahle said. “It would be weird missing out on a season as a senior, but we would still have an opportunity as a track and field team. ... Many things are out of our control, but we just need to do what we can and be ready to go.”

One of the upsides for the cross country team is it will still be able to train and workout to get ready for whatever comes next.

It is a waiting game at this point, but the team is looking forward to resuming activities and workouts as students get back in the swing of school. Guidelines have been set up around campus for student athletes to be able to succeed in whatever they are doing. 

One of the things that is certain is there is uncertainty regarding the status of fall sports being played in the spring.

“It is out of our hands at this point. We can control what we can control and that is getting better as individuals and as a team,” Dahle said. 

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