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Wausau West runners staying motivated despite uncertain future

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No one knows if we'll have a spring sports season.

The WIAA has suspended spring sports for the time being, but hasn't yet made a decision about whether there will be competition or not.

"I definitely try to hold out a little bit of hope that I can finish out track like I wanted to," said senior Ryan Hartman.

So in the meantime, Hartman and his junior teammate Ben Stangel are doing their best to stay ready.

Luckily, even in this time of isolation and social distancing, they have each other to keep motivated.

"He pushes me a lot. He's one of the most motivating guys I know. It's so much easier to do workouts with him then alone," Stangel said.

"It definitely helps to have Ben train with me. It definitely adds more fun to the training, definitely pushes me having someone to talk to. Just make the miles go by a little bit faster," Hartman said.

Per WIAA rules, the boys are only allowed to communicate with their coaches virtually or over the phone. It's a harsh reality that's tough for both the boys and their coach.

"It's made this a little bit more palatable. Not being able to coach these kids right now, and teach, is a challenge," said assistant track coach Jason Myers.

And it's given them some perspective.

"You shouldn't really be taking things for granted, like having a coach everyday or having track practice everyday." Hartman said.

So as they await a final decision from the WIAA, Ryan and Ben will continue to take it one day, and one step at a time.

"I definitely want to keep on holding out hope until there's that last bit of hope they can take away," said Hartman.

Brad Hanson

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