Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 6:00 pm | Updated: 6:15 pm, Wed Sep 6, 2017.
By Riley Sine
As smoke from forest fires throughout the Pacific Northwest continues to hang in the skies over Lake Washington and the Seattle area, the Eagle athletics teams have been forced to adapt their schedules due to health risks associated with prolonged exposure to smoky air.
The short version? They’ve all had to go inside for practice, because breathing this stuff isn’t good for you.
The Eagles soccer teams saw their matches against St. Martin’s University cancelled on Tuesday, and the attempted reschedule of the women’s match to Wednesday was also cancelled.
Head coach Brian Chud said the lady Eagles are making due, but understandably annoyed at the weather.
“They’re just as frustrated as I am,” he said, “they want to be out there playing and putting in the work.”
The Eagles cross country team haven’t lost any meets to the smoke yet, but forcing an activity like running indoors has clear complications.
Head coach Mark Mandi said that facilities and timing have been the biggest source of issue because the Eagle Fitness Center currently has only four working treadmills. In addition, he said logging miles indoors isn’t high on a lot of his athletes’ to-do lists.
“Running on the treadmill is not their favorite thing. It basically takes what is an open world where you can go run anywhere that you want to, for the most part, and says ‘actually, you can only run on these four things right here,’” he said.
He did note that the hotter conditions in the EFC can serve as good practice for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are held in Gulf Shores, Alabama, at the end of May.
A more pressing concern for the Eagle runners is the Cascade Conference Preview Meet, which is scheduled for a week from Saturday in La Grande, Oregon, and Mandi said that the status of the meet is uncertain.
Some respite does seem to be coming the Eagles’ way, however, as the AQI is forecast at about 70 tomorrow, half of what it has recently been.
Our prayers also go out to those in the path of the wildfires, and to the fire crews battling to contain the blazes.
*Editor’s Note: Sine is on the Northwest Cross Country team and is one of the primary sports writers for The Talon*