Lauren Gardiner, a junior at Hart, has run on varsity track for three years. This year, her season got cut short. Though she is disappointed that she will not compete this season, she is grateful that she still has her senior year season to improve her race times and make more memories with the team.
“I miss my wonderful friends, especially Kyle Smoak and Ciara Smith. Honestly, they and so many others were so supportive and made every single practice worthwhile. I absolutely loved having friendly competitions and receiving the support from my coaches in everything I did. I really miss that family-like motivation,” said Gardiner.
Besides missing her team, Gardiner is also upset about losing an opportunity to improve her times this season.
“I was really looking forward to making a new PR (personal record) in my 200 meter this season. That happens to be my favorite event. Last year, I dropped a little under two seconds, which is not common in such short distances. I wanted to shave off a bit more time this season,” Gardiner said.
As well as missing the team, Gardiner also misses her coaches, especially Coach Matkin who announced to the team May 13 that he would not be the head track coach next year. Gardiner is sad to have to say goodbye to Coach Matkin going into her senior year season.
“I just wanted to thank him and all that he’s done for me as an athlete, as well as the entire team. We’ll miss you, Coach,” Gardiner said.
To stay in shape during quarantine, Gardiner has been going on hikes, runs, lifting weights and doing core workouts. Gardiner encourages her fellow track athletes to do the same.
“I understand that many track athletes are not training as rigorously as they would be if we were on the track every day practicing. But, what I would suggest is every day, just try to set out a certain amount of time and do a workout. Even if it is just a run or something you can easily do in your living room, it is important to stay in shape over this unexpected break time,” Gardiner said.