Track meet cancellations cause frustration

Camila Reinoso, Section Copy Editor

After two unexpected cancelations, the Jackson-Reed track team was finally able to compete in a DCIAA meet on Wednesday, January 11. With the season opener coming nearly two weeks before championships, frustrations rose over the student athletes who had been waiting to race. 

“It’s really disappointing when you get a setback like that because you want to perform and show all the work that you’ve done,” junior Alex Carter said. Most of the athletes had been training since the previous season, and waiting eagerly for the opportunity to compete against other DC public schools. Junior team captain Malachi Patterson shared a similar sentiment. “It hurts you mentally,” he said. “Everybody’s been getting ready for this moment, and then in one second, they tell you it’s not gonna work.” More than anything else, the biggest frustration among the team seems to stem from the lack of clarity regarding the reasons for the cancelations. 

Because DC doesn’t have its own indoor track facility, student athletes in the district use the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex (PG Sportsplex) in Maryland. Though DCIAA has worked with PG Sportsplex for past track seasons, there is speculation about a failed agreement between them, which may have caused the disruption. Coach Dominick Hogans doesn’t know the exact reason for the setbacks. “I heard that they didn’t come to some kind of insurance agreement. That’s all we know right now.” Hogans did not feel the situation was handled well. 

“DCIAA didn’t adapt to the coaches and teams, and didn’t make up for their mishaps,” Hogans said. He noted that the shortened season can cause kids to be overworked. “There’s more injury, there’s more fatigue.” Instead of the usual recovery time between meets, the team is now attending competitions merely days apart. 

Two DCIAA officials declined to comment on the matter. Sentiments about the association are increasingly negative. 

“It feels like they don’t really care about us,” Sophomore Indie Wallace-Persaud said. 

Despite the challenges, the Tigers remain optimistic, and they have big goals for their season. They will compete in the DCSAA championships on February 14. •