HELENA — Up until about 72 hours ago, the track at Vigilante Stadium in Helena was warm on occasion and dry. Now with a winter storm parked over the area, the track is littered with snow.
In theory, that doesn't bode well for the Carroll College track and field squad as it prepares for the NAIA national meet in Gulf Shores, Alabama, which starts on May 26. However, instead of seeing the poor weather as another hurdle to get over, the Fighting Saints are taking it as an opportunity to either rest or maintain their physical condition.
"This week, it really is just kind of trying to keep the legs in shape. We're not trying to get in better shape. You're not trying to pound workouts in or anything like that," said Chad Hemsley. "Just trying to stay in the shape that you're in. On the treadmill, on the bike is what I've been sticking with this week."
"I obviously wish we could be on the (pole vault) pit and everything, but I've been getting a lot of sleep, getting some work in in the hack -- like in the weight room -- and then just like running and stuff, so it'll be good once we get there," said Shae Helterbran.
Though the situation obviously isn't ideal for the Fighting Saints, for the most part neither has most of this year as COVID-19 cast doubts on whether or not Carroll would even have a season. In spite of that, neither Helterbran nor Hemsley would trade the opportunities this year has presented.
"It's hard, I've had a lot of struggles with myself and practicing and indoor and everything," said Helterbran. "But I really feel like confident. I feel like I've worked as hard as I could. I love the sport. Just want to give it one last time and so I'm really excited that nationals is that place that I get to do that."
"Personally, I think it's gone better. ... We had a little bit of an indoor season. We've had -- what? -- five, six track meets for outdoor? So, it's honestly, I feel like it's turned out a lot better," said Hemsley.