SAN DIEGO — The high school track and field season had just begun before it ended. Scripps Ranch junior Jaymie Ruskovich had really looked forward to another successful spring season, which has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s almost surreal,” said Ruskovich. “It feels like we’re in a movie, it’s different. Especially being that we don’t have to get up at six o’clock in the morning and then not having tracks to practice on is really difficult. It’s a lot harder to stay in shape and train and workout.”
It’s an uncommon sight. An empty, quiet track and field at Scripps Ranch High School. The season had only begun before being called off completely, leaving junior Ruskovich to train on her own.
“I’ve been going on 40-minute runs around my neighborhood or my local park,” she said. “I’ve been going on 20-mile bike rides. I’ve been pretty much every day doing my core workout and sometimes basketball, just to keep active and fit.”
Ruskovich focuses on sprinting. She broke the school record her sophomore year in the 200-meter dash, posting a personal record of 24.3 seconds. Just last year, the 16-year-old won a state championship in the 4×100 women’s relay with her teammates — friends she’s unable to train with.
“It’s really difficult because I’m close with a lot of my track teammates, like four or five girls, we’re really close and we communicate a lot so it’s hard not seeing them,” she said.
Ruskovich carries a 4.1 GPA and was looking forward to impressing college scouts with her speed this season.
“It’s really frustrating and concerning because junior year is a big year that college’s come and look at you and scout you and offer you scholarships,” said Ruskovich. “But it’s too bad that junior year is the year we all have to sit out but it’s everybody.”
A small comfort in an uncertain time.