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story.lead_photo.caption FileCalifornia track runners finish a lap at a team practice March 12. Track athletes won’t return to the track this season, as Gov. Mike Parson ordered all Missouri public schools remain closed for the remainder of the academic year earlier this month.

The news the California High School track and field team's season had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating for many of the seniors on the team.

Nevertheless, many said they can look back fondly at their time on the team while in high school.

On the girls team, Darby Hudson said she was shocked when she had heard the season was delayed at first.

"The season had just started. It all didn't seem real. I remember looking at my teammates in the cafeteria after we were told and everyone seemed so down," Hudson said.

During her time at home, Hudson said she had been working on the workouts the coaches sent the athletes.

When she heard about the season being officially canceled, Hudson said she was heartbroken, as she had been participating in track for a long time.

"I have done track since sixth grade and I had full intentions on completing it through my senior year," Hudson said. "Knowing that I won't be back on the track field doing jumping workouts with coach (Richard) Matzes and coach (Ashley) Reno hurts. I'll forever be grateful for the skills they taught me."

Looking back at her time in track, Hudson said track created many friendships for her and gave her multiple opportunities.

"(Yeah), I enjoyed getting out of school every once in a while, but as each season went on, I created bonds with my teammates," Hudson said. "Track was a way for me to let out my steam from school, and it gave me a hobby that I enjoyed. The memories that track has given me throughout the years will stick with me."

Fellow senior Angelica Lemus said it was upsetting when she first heard about the delay, and she held on to some hope it was just going to be a delay.

While at home, Lemus said she was still working out three times a day.

"When the weather would allow it, I would go out to the track warm-up like normal, do abs, and follow Coach Matze's workouts for my hurdle events, jumping, and I also did my sprinters workout provided by Coach (Justin) Pflug," Lemus said.

Lemus said she was devastated when she read the news about the season being canceled.

"'I was looking forward to making new memories, improving my skill, and interacting with other friends from other schools," Lemus said.

Lemus said she loved making memories during her time in track as well as learning new skills, working out and bonding with the team.

"I always enjoyed the adrenaline rush before a race or a jump. I will definitely miss hearing the crowd cheering me on," Lemus said. "Lastly, I feel like I gave it all I had throughout all of my career in times I was healthy and during times of injury. And, to my coaches, thank you for believing in me and giving me a chance to help lead the team of the short time we had together."

On the boys side of the track team, Trevor Porter said when he heard the season was delayed, he thought it would not be a long delay.

"When I first heard it was delayed I didn't think much about it. I thought it would last a week or two and I would be back to running," Porter said.

With the hope the season would continue, Porter said he ran everyday while at home. When he heard the season had been canceled, Porter said he was pretty upset.

"It felt like everything I've worked for the past four years was worthless," Porter said.

Porter said he would not take the time he was on the team for granted.

"My four years of being in track and running with different teammates each year is something I will never take for granted," Porter said.

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