For Green River High School (GRHS) senior track and field team captains, Alaina Maiers and Mariyah Brady, missing their final track season due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic was disappointing and upsetting.
“At first it was just a feeling of hope that the season would happen, but when I knew it was going to be canceled, I knew it was for the best but I was really disappointed and upset,” Maiers said.
Both athletes had high expectations for themselves and were looking forward to being able to strive toward their goals. Brady competed in the 100 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, 4 x 100 meter relay and long jump, while Maiers was a thrower, competing in the shot put and discus.
Brady, who qualified for state track each year of her high school career, wanted another chance at placing at the regional and state meets.
“I had been a regional champ before in past years and I wanted to be able to do that again,” Brady said. “And I had been disqualified at state, so I wanted to be able to place at state.”
Maiers was excited to see not only her own accomplishments unfold, but she was looking forward to seeing how her team would perform throughout the season. She competed on both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams each year of her high school career.
“I had some high expectations for not only myself personally, but my entire team,” Maiers said. “We put in a lot of work during the off season and during the indoor season to try to be at our peak for outdoor. I was expecting a lot of good performances, so it was upsetting.”
Dan Hansen, GRHS head track and field coach, said having the season canceled was a letdown for the whole team.
“I feel sorry for all the track and field athletes having to miss out on a whole outdoor season,” Hansen said. “Not to mention the seniors having worked four years to shine during their senior year and not get that chance. It just goes to show every day is important in one’s life.”
When Brady learned the season was canceled, she began questioning the choices she made earlier in the year to prepare for the track season.
“I was honestly pretty upset because I had decided not to go out for basketball my senior year so that I could do indoor and be ready for outdoor,” she said.
Hansen said the coaching staff was able to throw together some workout ideas for the athletes to do at home and stay active, but he noted there is only so much they could do online.
“It’s hard to get better when you can’t use the facilities and equipment that is needed in track and field,” he said.
Brady and Maiers both participated in the workouts, but as Brady said, “it isn’t the same without my track family.”
Maiers said it was nice to be able to continue working on the sport, even without the competitions.
“While it isn’t close to the real thing, the practice is always good and I’d say it was a good experience and something different,” Maiers said.
Both girls missed being able to make memories with friends and being able to compete in the track season.
“I hope even with the cancelation of the season it doesn’t make the students lose hope in getting a season in the future,” Maiers said.
Brady will be attending Taylor Andrews Academy in Provo, Utah, for cosmetology school. Maiers will be attending WyoTech in Laramie.
Hansen said Brady and Maiers will be missed as they move onto their next steps as they brought leadership to the team.
“[Brady] will always be remembered as a very well liked teammate who was very spunky,” Hansen said. “[Maiers] will always be remembered as a great leader and teammate.”