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Track troubles

Alya Augspurger ’26
South’s varsity and junior varsity soccer team practicing together at Total Soccer, the backup facility for when the home turf is unavailable.

As South’s spring sports schedule starts up, many students are wondering about one sport in particular: Track and Field. Since South offers nine sports in the spring, scheduling equal turf time for all sports has proven to be extremely difficult, especially because the entire athletics program is limited to one turf field.

Over the last few years, South’s track team has pushed other spring sports schedules farther back, leaving a lasting effect on the students who participate in these extracurriculars. While all spring sports are allotted the same amount of practice time, roughly an hour and a half, the track teams have been known to run overtime. Soccer player Mariella Goodman ’26 expressed her frustration with this spring sports situation.

“(Track) takes up a lot of field time compared to other sports,” Goodman said. “Their meets go over time and conflict with our practices and games. We have to postpone our team meetings and multiple other things to find new locations so we can get in any practice time. It all gets very confusing.”

Similarly, both track’s meets and practices have begun to affect students’ personal lives as well as their team’s dynamic, practices, and games. Lacrosse player Sioban McGlone ’25 said she has had a hard time balancing her work, school, personal and—most importantly—her sleep schedule due to how late her practices have been over the last two years.

“I like to be in bed by 10:30 on school nights,” McGlone said. “I take my sleep very seriously, so if I’m done with practice at 10, I get home at 10:30 and then I have to eat and take a shower. I don’t get to bed until 11 or 11:30 and that makes me very tired.”

While many students are upset about this issue, they neglect to acknowledge a key factor creating this issue: Track’s lack of alternative space. Almost all spring sports at South have an alternative field they can go to when the turf is unavailable; whether it’s a middle school grass field or an indoor facility, they still have the option to use multiple locations. Track, on the other hand, does not share this privilege. South Athletics Director Andy Rishmawi said he acknowledges this as the core of the affair.

“We don’t have an alternative track, which is one of the bigger problems,” Rishmawi said. “Having another field just for practice would be a lot better—our soccer team could practice earlier (and) our lacrosse teams could both practice earlier. Truly the big issue is that we’re landlocked. We don’t have a lot of space so only having one turf field, where everyone has to be, is really the issue.”

When all of these pieces are added together, it becomes clear that all students, including those participating in track, are affected by the downsides of both limited practice locations and scheduled events running overtime.

“I think we just have to stay respectful of each other and stay out of each other’s way when we can,” Goodman said.

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