Senior Salute: Branford Track and Field

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 9:50 PM EDT
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Like on the track, life is filled with hurdles, and the Branford Buccaneers are just jumping over them.

The Branford Bucs had eight seniors this season on the boys and girls track and field teams. They unfortunately had their season cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The group consisted of Lachelle Sikes, Kinleigh Collins, Jeremy Lynch, Alan Bruno, Lance Mathis, Sam Alfred, Alex McCollum, and Colton Leibold.

Despite the season being cut short, records were still broken. The boys 4x800 meter relay that set a new school record of 8:44.16.

"I was a little bit worried and concerned I wasn't able to experience my senior season, after a while, I realized life goes on." Alan Bruno, a member of the 4x800 relay said.

"There was just disappointment mainly because there was a lot of training built up" Alex McCollum, another member of the relay said.

Some athletes used the extra time off from school to improve, even if their season was in limbo.

Kinleigh Collins, a two-sport athlete who has signed with LaGrange College for volleyball, was on the Branford volleyball team that made it to the state final four. However, she wanted to go to state in track and field too. Collins competes as a thrower and a hurdler.

"I was given a shot put to practice in my yard, that was my goal to go to state for shot put and javelin. When it was canceled I was upset and for everyone who wanted a future, this was the time to get recruited" Collins said.

Lance Mathis made it to state in the throws last year. He was hoping to do it again in 2020.

"It was disappointing that I couldn't prove to colleges that I couldn't be their next prospect, it was disappointing for other athletes," Mathis said.

However this time period will go down in the history books, and distance coach Michelle Richards says this generation has a bright future ahead.

"This whole pandemic has been heartbreaking for seniors, not to have prom and Grad Bash. These kids were just being born or were in our tummies when 9/11 happened. Their lives started a little crazy. I think they're going to be our future leaders" Richards said.

The Bucs also had a graduation ceremony outdoors, where many athletes graduated with honors. Field event athlete and University of North Florida volleyball signee, Lachelle Sikes was Branford's salutatorian.