TORRINGTON – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, spring athletes and coaches are left to wait and see if they will get to experience the taste of victory in the spring.
With last Friday’s announcement that Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist extended their orders to close down public places until April 30, it seems less and less likely that will happen.
However, Torrington High School senior Ona Albaugh is still hopeful she and her Blazer teammates can get in at least a partial track season this year.
“I’m really hoping that, even if it’s not a long season, we can get a couple meets in,” she said. “The thought of not having my senior track season isn’t the best feeling in the world because it’s my favorite sport, and it’s what I’ve been looking forward to the most for my senior year. Knowing that I might not have that is heartbreaking.”
Albaugh has more than just state championship aspirations in her individual events. She has college scholarship money on the line, as well.
Albaugh, who has a track offer on the table from Chadron State College, was given a list of goals and times to attempt to beat by the Eagles coach this spring.
“If I broke them, they would give me more scholarship money to go to school,” Albaugh said. “If I don’t have a chance to break those times, I’m probably not going to get that added scholarship money for school.”
The recruiting process is still ongoing.
“They are still very much still involved with us. They send us emails all the time. The coach has my number so he texts me to see how I’m doing,” Albaugh said. “I don’t think it’s changed that much. We just can’t go and visit the school.”
Through it all, it’s difficult for Albaugh to stay positive during these uncertain times, but Albaugh knows she has to.
“I have to do my very best because I have two little siblings that are looking up to me,” she said.
With the hope of still getting a partial season in, Albaugh has been busy getting ready and preparing should it happen.
“I have been doing workouts that my coach Shaylee Mortimore had given us the first week of practice that we had,” Albaugh said. “I’ve been continuing those workouts.”
Albaugh competes in the 100, 200, sprint medley relay and any other running event her coaches ask her to compete in, along with pole vault.
“I do different sprinting activities Monday through Friday,” Albaugh said. “I do different sprinting things, whether it be a 100, 200 or 300 and then repeat that with some 40s at the end, or I might have eight 100s in a day with some 40-meter sprints. After that I do some core work and stretch so I don’t get sore.”
Albaugh wrapped up a successful indoor track and field season, competing for Cheyenne Central High School, helping the Lady Indians to a state championship.
“It’s very fun to get to compete with Cheyenne Central and practice with them,” Albaugh said. “You get to meet new people, and it was nice to get to compete against people across all classes, not just 3A.”
Whether or not Albaugh gets to step back on the track at the high school level or not is yet to be seen, but the message to her teammates was simple.
“I would like to tell others to keep their heads up, stay positive, keep working hard,” Albaugh said.