His friends who play soccer and football were sidelined from the beginning of the school year, so when Thomas White learned his cross country team would be able to compete during his final high school season he was both surprised and grateful.

"We kind of got a call from coach around late August. He was like, 'yeah guys, we're gonna have a season. It's not going to be normal and it's not going to be what you expect from a cross country season, but we're going to have something.' And that, for me, was great," said White, a senior at Boston Latin School.

But the season was limited by COVID-19 restrictions. Runners had to wear masks and the big meets that often produce the fastest times weren't allowed. Then, during the last week of October, as Boston faced rising COVID rates, Boston Latin's season ended abruptly — and with it, White's dream of becoming the first runner from his school to win the league championship.

A lot of high school seniors have lost out on the chance to compete during their final high school season. But, White said, it's not easy to talk about.

"I feel guilty sometimes with how I feel sad about not having a senior year cross country season," he said, "when there's people dying every single day and people are out protesting for their rights."

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