Track and field: Bad weather causes Relays delay
WORTHINGTON — Thursday afternoon, the Worthington track and field team was practicing, just as it would be on any other non-meet day.
The problem with this particular day was that it wasn’t supposed to be practicing; it was supposed to be participating in the 62nd Annual Trojan Relays.
Worthington High activities director Josh Dale said the decision was made to postpone the meet until today (May 9) because of the threat of severe weather. He said he was fielding calls in the morning from the 14 other schools scheduled to participate throughout the morning as they were trying to find out when a decision would be made so they could continue with or cancel travel arrangements.
Early in the afternoon, the decision was made to postpone the meet.
“It was a difficult decision,” Dale said. “This is our biggest event in terms of the number of teams that we normally have here. So, with this being my first year, I was excited to see how it all shakes out with all 16 teams here. But, ultimately the safety of our student-athletes is our No. 1 concern. With the threat of severe weather, we just decided it was something we had to do.”
The meet — which is now slated to begin at 4 p.m. today at Trojan Field — will take on a different look because of the change in date. Typically, the meet is split into Class A and AA divisions. Adrian, Fulda, Hills-Beaver Creek, Murray County Central, Mountain Lake Area, Southwest Minnesota Christian/Edgerton and Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central were scheduled to run in the Class A portion of the meet along with Worthington’s JV. Each of the seven visiting schools, however, was already scheduled to participate at a different meet tonight and will be unable to attend.
Worthington, defending boys and girls champion Luverne, Windom Area, Marshall, Jackson County Central, Montevideo and New Ulm are all planning to still make the trip. Even so, the meet will be roughly half its normal size in terms of participating schools.
The Trojans, along with the other schools that are still coming, will also be affected by the change.
“We have a couple kids that have prior commitments tomorrow so if they miss the meet, you can’t really blame them,” Worthington co-head coach Ken Henkels said Thursday. “Most of them will be there, though.”
The weather forecast — as of late afternoon Thursday — is calling for mostly cloudy skies with only a 10-percent chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-60s at meet time tonight. The conditions should be favorable for keeping the meet, which was started by Floyd “Baldy” Nelson in 1953, intact for the 62nd consecutive year.
“We’ll try it again tomorrow and hope for better weather,” Dale said Thursday.