High School Sports

June 8, 2013

State track meet compressed into one day

MIDDLETOWN — Track and field athletes from across New York will have an additional challenge at this year’s NYSPHSAA championships.

Heavy rain and flash flood warnings Friday caused the first day of the meet to be cancelled, leading to all the events being crammed in today. The revised schedule calls for an 8:30 a.m. start at Middletown High School. Race officials announced the postponement before noon Friday.

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Most of the class finals have been turned into Federation finals, according to Mile Split New York.

The National Weather Service has a more positive outlook for Middletown today, calling for a mostly cloud day with a high near 80 degrees, and a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon.

Saranac boys’ coach Chris Verkey’s first state meet as an athlete was in 1995, and he’s been coaching for 11 years. He said he’s never experienced or heard of anything like this happening before. Even with rain in the forecast, he never expected a postponement.

“All of my kids were mentally prepared to compete out in the rain (Friday),” he said, adding that running in the rain during the Section VII championships two weeks ago helped prepare his team for such conditions.

“They’ve eliminated some semis here and there in different events, put some different events in different places at the meet to try to make it the most user friendly for all the athletes,” Verkey said. “But there’s a lot of athletes that are going to have to double back in a lot of events that they probably weren’t expecting to.

“The decision-making on what events you’re going to run at the state meet typically is done because of the schedule. You’re going to have people who weren’t expecting to run certain events twice in one day.”

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