Sports

High school athletes try to stay ready in case spring sports resume

Brock Susko
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier File Photo
Los Altos High junior Brock Susko takes a swing March 12 against Leland, the Eagles’ last game before school closed.

For high school athletes in spring sports, the season is fading fast. Three weeks of play have already been wiped out due to the coronavirus, and most schools aren’t expected to reopen until at least May. 

While some local athletes have come to grips with the prospect that the season won’t continue, others remain hopeful they will compete again this year.

“As a spring student-athlete, all you can do is try to stay in shape while staying at home and hope that the season will start up again soon,” Los Altos High baseball player Brock Susko said.
But staying in shape can be more challenging without coaches and teammates present.

“It’s a weird place to be mentally and physically, meaning that with athletes in general, they are very team-oriented,” Mountain View High swimmer Lexi Rudolph said, “so it gets hard when you take away the team aspect and are forced to train by yourself.”

Add a degree of difficulty for swimmers like Rudolph, who need to be in the water to practice their sport.

“With all the pools and gyms in my area being closed, it has become a lot harder to get a good workout in,” the senior said. “I’ve resorted to disappearing for hours and riding my bike all throughout Mountain View and Los Altos to get the cardio aspect, as I’m not a huge fan of running.”

For Los Altos baseball player Matt Leong, running has become a major component of his new training regimen.

“As you know, it is pretty tough to get a good, full workout in since all the gyms and fields are closed,” he said, “but I’ve been trying to build an abbreviated workout schedule every week starting with going on a 2-3 mile run every other day.”
Isabella Walker, a hurdler on the Mountain View track team, has created a workout routine as well. As a year-round soccer player, the sophomore has two sports to train for.

“On my own, I’m running outside and doing a bunch of at-home exercises with the ball and working with my core by doing workouts that focus in on that area,” Walker said.
Some athletes have an advantage, though: siblings at home to train with. That includes Los Altos baseball player Jamie Baum, whose older brother Ryan pitched for the Eagles last year and now plays for the College of San Mateo.

“During this time, I have been able to practice baseball and basketball a lot because of the extra time I have,” said the junior, a pitcher who is also the starting point guard on the Los Altos girls basketball team. “I’ve been throwing with my brother to keep my arm in shape and maintaining a workout routine. I have also used this time to work on my shot for basketball, and I think it is very important to stay productive with my time during this break.”
Susko has multiple siblings at the house who are athletes.

“Personally, I have siblings that I can play with, so I always try to play catch with them to keep my arm in shape, as well as do any workout I can,” the junior said.

If the remainder of the season gets canceled, Susko will at least have one more year to play for the Eagles. He feels for those who don’t.

“I think the situation is very unfortunate, especially for the seniors who have worked so hard to make their senior seasons the best they could be,” he said.

Teammate Leong is disheartened that this year’s Eagles – off to a promising 5-2 start – may never get to realize their potential.

“As for the likelihood that my season won’t continue, it is sad,” he said. “I felt like the team was doing really well and had we not been shut down, we would’ve started our first league games, which is what the entire team was looking forward to. I do feel for the seniors on the team, though, knowing that they could’ve just played their last high school game.”

Baum appreciates getting another swing at it next season.

“It has been tough not being able to play with my team and losing the better part of a season,” she said, “but I still have another season to look forward to
next year.”

So does Walker, who does not expect to be back on the track this year.

“I’m really bummed that my track season will not be happening, since I was really excited to compete,” said the sophomore, whose previous season was cut short by an injury.

As for the seniors, some will continue their sports careers at the next level – such as Rudolph, bound for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Yet that doesn’t make this shortened season any easier to swallow.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play a fall sport this year (water polo), like I have the past three years of my high school career, so swim season was pretty much it for me,” she said. “The things I’m most upset about are that I can’t see/train with my team, and I likely can’t compete in CCS or states because they might be canceled.”

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