Sarah Pounder’s pre-throw rituals disrupted by COVID-19

Shot putter and senior Sarah Pounder is slightly superstitious. She used to lick her finger before every throw, as a ritual of sorts.

But, now with a mask covering her face during practice and meets, she and all her teammates have had to adjust to the new circumstances of the winter season.

As COVID-19 continues to wage war on Northern Virginia, Marshall track and field has managed to not only meet safely for practices but also pull off individual and team victories.

On Jan. 2, Marshall track and field faced Wakefield and Falls Church high schools in the first meet of the winter season. Several athletes came away from the meet with victories for themselves, and for Marshall as a whole.

“I think the meet went well for me because I was able to pull out five points for the girls team victory,” Pounder said. “But it was not a great meet for my throwing. It was an alright throw, but I wish I did a lot better to start my senior year off.”

Cross country and distance track coach Darrell General said he was happy with how the students did despite the current situations.

“They looked pretty good as far as all the training that they’ve been doing over the summer, maintaining their fitness,” General said. “It showed that they tried to do their best through the summer and the fall to try to stay fit. So, I was pretty pleased with everybody’s performance.”

Pounder said she felt more stressed during this first meet than usual given the time constraints on the season.

“I felt a lot more pressure because it is a shorter season,” Pounder said. “We have five more meets until districts and I am really striving to win the district championship, regional top three, and to get to states.”