It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since athletic competitions were available for high school students. Excitement filled the air on Saturday, February 13, as Chaminade hosted its first sporting event since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020. The Eagles welcomed St. Francis’ Boys Cross Country team for a dual meet, officially kicking off the high school’s sports season.
“It’s the first step toward getting back to normal,” says Chaminade’s high school Athletic Director Todd Borowski. “We are excited for the kids and excited for the schools.”
Cross country is one of the few sports cleared for inter-team competition in the purple tier. Only dual meets are allowed at this time rather than the usual “cluster” meets consisting of multiple teams.
The meet was held on the grounds of Chaminade’s 19-acre West Hill campus. Athletes ran three loops to complete a total distance of 2.6 miles.
“We are thrilled to see our high school cross country team competing again.” says high school Principal Luis Guerra. “This is a big moment for us. It’s great to see kids doing what they love and just being kids again.”
Chaminade received clearance from the State of California, LA County Dept. of Public Health, LA Archdiocese, Mission League, and the CIF to host the event. “We have taken every precaution, following all guidelines and protocols, to ensure the safety of all in attendance,” said Luis Guerra. Only athletes, coaches, and a few school employees serving as volunteers were permitted on campus. No spectators, including parents, were allowed to attend.
“For a while, we thought we weren’t going to have a season. It’s great we had this opportunity to use what we have been training for,” said Chaminade’s team captain Brandon LaRue ’21. “This set up was a great cross country style course with hills, and we are honored to be here.”
All athletes were required to bring their own water, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a towel, personal items, and a mask, which they are allowed to remove during the race. There were no team tent setups, water refill stations, or food stations.
St. Francis coach Patrick Donovan said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to be out here. It’s been a long time coming. All the ups and downs and the difficult times we have gone through, it’s wonderful to watch the boys competing in their jerseys representing their schools.”