The sun is beating down, there isn’t the slightest hint of a breeze, and no matter how clever you may be, there is no way to hide your ever increasing sweat stains. Worst of all, track practice hasn’t even started yet.
Just as you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through another sun and sweat drenched practice, a whistle blows and somehow you start running. You’ve only been at it for a few minutes but the harsh weather makes it feel like it’s been hours.
You’re panting like a dog and sweat is rolling down all over the place. You turn a corner, ready to collapse when you see the enemy: shirtless boys running.
In any other scenario, this sight would be more than welcomed, but not today. It’s not like these guys are exempt from the heat and its side effects, but at least they don’t have to worry about wringing out their shirt every five minutes.
You could be free of this task too if only you were allowed to wear just a sports bra instead of a shirt but alas, you cannot.
The situation described above is reality for girls on the Presentation track team.
Junior Gretchen Bigelow, a member on track team, confirmed, “At track practices, girls are not allowed to take off their shirt and practice in a sports bra. However, the Bellarmine boys are permitted to take off their shirt.”
Bigelow also described her feelings on this rule, saying, “I definitely find it frustrating, especially on days when it’s 80 degrees plus and you’re running sprint circuits. You look over to see the boys comfortable with no shirt on while you’re in a drenched shirt and feel like you’re on the verge of heat exhaustion.”
Junior Gabrielle Avila, another member on the track team who shares Bigelow’s frustration, says, “I don’t think it is fair, but we are required to use Bellarmine’s facilities so we have to follow their rules.”
When asked the reason behind this rule, fellow junior and track member Katelyn Murphy said, “I honestly have no idea, they never explained why we couldn’t, they just told us that we couldn’t.”
“My only guess would be that we’re too distracting for the boys, but if that’s the case then they’re the problem, not us.”
Not everyone is against the rule, though. “I personally agree with this, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with this rule,” said track member and senior Senna Kadah. “A tank top on top of the sports bra isn’t going to make you overheat, and doesn’t make that big of a difference. We are guests on their track, and Notre Dame follows the same rule.”
Whatever your position on this rule might be, there is, without a doubt, a great amount of frustration and debate surrounding it.
As we enter into warmer months it will be interesting to see if this rule stays in place or if track members will rally together to get it changed.