Districts night after prom poses problem

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RBHS track participants run the 800 meter event.

Carleigh Thrower

The RBHS track and field team will compete at districts the morning after prom.
Some members of the RBHS track and field team will compete at districts on the morning after prom.

As the year comes to a close, many spring sports get ready to gear into post season. For most spring sports including tennis and track, their districts however fall on the Saturday after prom. Although the date of prom was set out to be non-conflicting event, athletes feel that their prom plans will be compromised due to this schedule.
“I do think having districts after prom will affect our athletes’ performances.  Essential to most track and field athletes is sleep,” Track and Field coach Neal Blackburn said. “Extending the day and night before a major competition is not usually the recipe for success.”
Hindered performance is the main issue when it comes down to it said Blackburn.  It gives the other teams an unnecessary advantage if our athletes choose to stay out later than normal.
“I’m just really annoyed that they scheduled prom the day before everybody’s districts,” senior pole vaulter Erica Beck said.  “I think still some people are going to stay out late and ignore the fact that they have districts and then that might affect their performance”
In the end it is the decision of each, individual athlete to decide what they want to do. The more important one will come above the other and the results may or may not show.
“The work that you put in leading up to districts should be enough to get you to where you want to be but people also want to have fun on prom night and be with their friends and stay up late also,” Senior girls soccer player, Kate Hulen.  “So it’s understandable if they’re tired in the morning or not quite on their a-game but I think through their preparation they should be able to perform no matter the circumstances.”
Although the ideal conditions are in place, coaches do their best to stress the importance of getting a full nights rest.  This is in order for their athletes to be at their top performance, one they have worked on for many months now.
“We are telling our athletes to enjoy the prom experience, but behave responsibly with regards to the after Prom events typically accompanying that event,” Blackburn said. “Typically, our most dedicated and serious athletes take part in the before Prom experience as well as Prom itself, going home afterwards and attempting to be in bed by midnight.  Our less serious and dedicated athletes typically live in the moment and deal with the consequences on the day after, and results usually speak for themselves on both accounts.”
By Carleigh Thrower