Fortuna

Huskies coach proposes open meet to accommodate seniors

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By Ray Hamill — Lexy Roberts lost more than her senior season in track and field with the news from the CIF on Friday.

She lost the opportunity to have a chance to compete for a place on a college team.

Roberts is one of several local high school student athletes who have seen their spring seasons taken away from them because of the concerns over COVID-19.

And up until Friday, she held out hope.

Since the local schools were shut down three weeks ago, Roberts and teammate Maggie Stacy, another senior, have been working out every day together, refusing to give up on their final seasons.

They even got in trouble doing so, getting kicked off the Fortuna Middle School track as they scrambled to find anywhere to train.

“I’s kind of hard,” Roberts said. “We don’t have a track to run on. Everything was closed.”

They eventually found a training base at Rohner Park and have been diligently preparing for the season despite the anticipated shutdown.

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“For them to take that upon themselves was special,” Fortuna co-head coach Josh Quintal said.

Roberts will attend Sac State after graduation, and was hoping to compete for a place on the track team there.

According to Quintal, her goal this year was to break the 60-second mark in the 400 meters, something he feels would have given her a shot at making the Hornets’ team.

Now, however, that opportunity is gone.

Or is it?

Open meet

Even with the season canceled at a state-wide level, Quintal is still holding out the hope of hosting a meet or two here on the North Coast, whether that’s an H-DNL meet or not.

“I am still holding on to the hope that we’ll be able to at least do a league meet or two,” the Huskies coach said. “If we can’t, I would like to host an ‘open meet’ whenever we are told it is safe to do so and assuming that there is interest.

“It would give local athletes at least one more opportunity to compete.”

And it would give athletes like Roberts a chance to go after her goals for the season and the opportunity to have a chance to compete for a place on a college team.

“With 60 seconds, I’d be one step closer to being able to compete at Sac State,” she said.

Stacy also hopes to continue her track career after high school, as do a handful of the Fortuna seniors who hope this isn’t the end of the line.

Stacy looks set to attend Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo and certainly has the talents to compete at the community college level, while fellow seniors Nathan Arrasmith and Draven Boyd each also have the talents to take their careers to the collegiate level if they choose.

Likewise with discus throwers Riley Timmerman and Emma Coleman, each of whom were considered among the top contenders in the event in the H-DNL this year.

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2 replies »

  1. Hey Ray as the new Varsity baseball coach and fellow photog up here in DN I definitely understand the frustration on the part of the Seniors. You have already wrote about the possibility of lack of roster spots in various sports with the NCAA granting eligibility extensions to returning student athletes. My concern regarding your article is for athletes trying to participate in events without sufficient practice or preparation. I don’t want to see that lack of training result in performance levels that do not truly represent the student athlete’s ability. I was wondering the same with baseball, softball, and tennis. Although the fact CIF has canceled any chance of postseason play and they have no hope in there being anything else for the seasons I worry about them trying to through something together without any preparation. Not to mention a higher likelihood of injuries. My son is a senior and I had hoped beyond all comprehension of something other than the current scenario, but it is the hand we have been dealt. Our DNHS coaches from last season left us disappointed to say the least. I am sure the colleges are all understanding of the situation and will do their level best to accommodate incoming freshmen, albeit red shirts for all.

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