XC regional, state meets postponed
By Ryan McLaughlin
Bangor Daily News
Maine’s high school cross country runners will have to wait until this weekend to begin pursuing regional and state championships.
The Maine Principals’ Association on Friday announced that “due to the extreme wet storm conditions predicted [this past weekend],” the North and South cross country regional championships, scheduled Oct. 22, were pushed back a week and will instead be held Saturday, Oct. 29.
The North regional and the state meet are both scheduled to take place at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. The South regional will be run at Twin Brook in Cumberland.
The state championship meets will now be held the following Saturday, Nov. 5, also in Belfast.
MPA Assistant Executive Director Gerry Durgin said officials began looking at the forecast as early as last Wednesday, and the decision was made Friday morning to postpone the meets.
“It’s not the rain that [is forecast] to occur during the race, as much as how much it will impact the course before we get to the race,” Durgin said. “I can’t predict, nor can you or anyone else, how much damage could be done to a course.”
Durgin said the safety of the runners was also considered in postponing the meets.
“You’ve got the people that would say, ‘it’s cross country, run no matter what,’ but today, you’ve got to think about these other things,” he said. “Somebody could go down.”
The date of the state championship meets falls on an SAT testing date, but Durgin said those runners who are participating in testing will be accommodated.
Belfast High School, roughly a mile from the meet venue, has an SAT testing site, he said.
Durgin said MPA officials never considered canceling the regionals altogether and holding states next weekend, as regionals is a determining factor in who participates in state championship competition.
“If you skipped the regional you’d be doubling the numbers at the states,” Durgin said.
He added the MPA does not have any backup course options in the event Belfast or Cumberland sites become unfit for competition.
“We have very limited facilities,” he said.
The time schedules for the championship meets are as follows:
North Regional: Class B, boys: 11 a.m.; girls: 11:35 a.m.; Class C, boys: 12:30 p.m.; girls: 1:05 p.m.; Class A, boys: 2 p.m.; girls: 2:35 p.m.
State Championship: Class B, boys: 1 p.m.; girls: 1:35 p.m.; Class C, boys: 2:10 p.m.; girls: 2:45 p.m.; Class A, boys: 3:20 p.m.; girls: 3:55 p.m.
The postponements will not have any conflict with the New England championship meet, scheduled for Nov. 12 in Vermont.