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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Fall sports athletes battle high temperatures

Many sports adapted practice times and safety measures to protect their athletes
Fin Tholen
Junior Francis Alexander cools down after finishing his race on Sept. 2 in Manhattan with temperatures topping 100 degrees that day. “It was awful,” Alexander said. “It was hot as hell, but we all had to deal with it.”

The beginning of the school year and fall sports was accompanied by dangerously high temperatures, causing adaptations to sports practices and procedures. The scorching heat was unexpected, but teams found ways to continue practicing and building momentum for the new season.

Mid-August, just as fall sports started getting into swing, Kansas and the rest of the midwest endured the hottest temperatures of an already blazing summer. This posed a problem for teams like cross country, who require continuous practice to get in shape for the season. Senior cross country runner Isabel Klish said the heat made exercise exceedingly difficult.

“The hardest thing is just physically being able to keep up,” Klish said. “That heat kills you every time you’re in it, and it’s really difficult to make sure that you’re staying hydrated and not exhausting yourself.”

To ensure that they could still prepare for the season, runners moved practices to 6 a.m.

“We just would adjust our workouts, but we had stayed pretty true to what we could,” Klish said.

Despite taking precautions to avoid issues surrounding the heat, the nature of the weather still made practice brutal for the cross country team.

“It still felt like running through a sauna,” Klish said. “The humidity was at 100 percent it felt like most days, even before the sun had even risen.”

I was pushing my way through the heat, and it was tough. I felt like I was going to overheat.

— Francis Alexander, junior

Despite the difficulty in getting to school early, Klish and other cross country athletes were relieved they were able to continue training.

“I think it was a really smart decision to avoid just canceling practice altogether, but it definitely was a big complication,” Klish said. “We’ve always kind of faced heat issues, but this has probably been the worst and I’ve been running for seven years.”

Along with cross country, other fall sports had to take precautions before continuing their activities. The football team had to ensure player safety before each practice using a wet bulb globe temperature device, or a WBGT.


“It’s a tripod that our athletic trainer puts together that she puts on the ground and measures humidity, temperature and wind speed,” Athletic Director Mike Gillman said. “That number hits a certain number. It’s either black, red, orange, yellow or white.”

Depending on the color of the reading, the team is allowed to practice a certain amount of time according to KSHAA regulations. This practice isn’t new, but this year has been especially scalding, which has made player safety an even higher priority.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen in 20 years of education, coaching and as an administrator,” Gillman said. “Safety was our number one concern.”

Senior Dylan Alvarado drinks water on the sidelines during the first football game of the season against Olathe South. “We might be a little sluggish at first,” Alvarado said, “But once we get going, it’s over.” (Dylan Wheatman)

However, Gillman said the response to the weather by the school had been strong and allowed a sense of normalcy to continue.

“Everybody was kind of organized,” Gillman said. “We knew exactly what to do.”

Gillman felt that because of positive attitudes and good preparation, the athletes were able to overcome the problem presented by heat.

“We were absolutely ready for it,” Gillman said. “The WGBT took out any of the guessing. We were able to move through it.

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About the Contributors
Finn Lotton-Barker
Finn Lotton-Barker, Social Media Co-Editor in Chief
I'm a fourth-year staffer and second-year editor-in-chief for the journalism program. I have worked as a writer, reporter, designer, website editor-in-chief, and social media editor-in-chief in my time on staff. I have placed at state in KSPA multiple times in multiple categories and have had my stories featured on 'Best of Student Newspaper Online' numerous times. Outside of journalism, I participate in student council, scholars bowl, marching and concert band, and Lawrence Ballet Theatre. For any questions concerning our coverage, feel free to email me at [email protected] or [email protected].
Fin Tholen
Fin Tholen, Photographer
I'm a second-year photographer on the journalism staff. When I'm not taking photos, I study German and do martial arts. Last year, I won an award for my photography. If you're looking for me, you'll probably find me in room 306.
Dylan Wheatman
Dylan Wheatman, Photographer and Videographer
I'm a second year photographer and videographer on the journalism staff. When I'm not taking pictures or videos I like to go to the gym, hang out with friends and family, and golf for fun!

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