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EGMS track athletes recognized for efforts after moving workouts online

(Clockwise from top left) Ethan Delay, Luke Paugh, Cruz Hanson, Josie Nance, Eli Boomer and Bree Hanson were the top participants in East Grand Middle School's virtual track season.
Courtesy of Marc Loberg

Track season at East Grand Middle School was supposed to start March 16. Instead, the school district shut down as one of the first major closures in Grand County due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Athletic Director Marc Loberg said that even though no one knew if or when school and the track season would resume, coaches wanted to start training for the kids. As the closures extended through the end of the school year, the virtual track season became a way to feel connected.

For a lot of those students, the virtual workouts were a way to be involved, with a competitive edge thrown in for good measure.

“With kids, that concrete thinking and keeping it structured for them is huge,” Loberg said. “It’s a way for kids to fall on a bit of normalcy. The kids that did it a lot wanted some structure.”

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Loberg said the track team is usually made up of about 70 students. Not having a track season has been as hard on the coaches as it has been on the students.

“I’ve been a 28 year, four sport coach, so for me it was brutal not to be able to go after school and work out with the kids,” Loberg said.

Every Monday, coaches posted weekly workouts and instructional videos for the young athletes. Students had the chance to respond with a video of themselves working out or a log of their exercise during the week.

Initially 42 athletes signed up to follow the program. Many of them submitted items on a regular basis, but there were six who stood above the rest.

“The ones that really jumped on board, they loved it,” Loberg said.

Eli Boomer, Luke Paugh, Ethan Delay, Cruz Hanson, Josie Nance and Bree Hanson were named the top performers of the track season based on the number of items they submitted to the coaches. The six will receive t-shirts for their participation.

The coaches were pleasantly surprised with the overall level of engagement. Having never done something like this before, Loberg said the response was better than expected.

“We never knew what we were going to get,” Loberg said. “When we would get the little videos of them doing dot drills or high knees, it was fun.”

The virtual track season went on for seven weeks, just like the regular season. Some students have continued with the track workouts, while others have moved on to different types of exercise.

Loberg said it was especially important to recognize the students for their hard work during these unprecedented times.


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