Bad weather in the Wichita area wrecked havoc Friday on Kansas high school state events, most notably the nation’s largest high school track and field meet hosted at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
After the start was delayed by three hours due to rain and lightning, Day 1 of the state track and field meet was postponed after completing only the 3200-meter finals in Classes 3-2-1A and the first round of field events in the smaller classes.
That leaves a jam-packed schedule Saturday, as Kansas State High School Activities Association officials were left with no other option than to try to complete nearly the entire meet in one day. Here are the changes they made:
- Field events will resume 8 a.m. Saturday, picking up where they left off on Friday with a rolling schedule followed in order by Saturday’s original schedule. All competitors in field events, except for high jump and pole vault, will receive four attempts.
- Running events will resume 7:30 a.m. Saturday with the 3200 races for 4A, 5A and 6A. There will be no preliminaries — everything will be timed finals. Race organizers will re-seed the heats to include the eight-fastest times from regional meets.
But with bad weather expected again in the Wichita area on Saturday, KSHSAA track and field administrator Mark Lentz admits that the state meet might have to resort to something they’ve never done before.
“I know the state track meet has never run into Sunday, but it still has to be an option,” Lentz said. “It’s a possibility, but we sure hope not for obvious reasons.
“We will rush through and do our best for everyone’s sake to try to complete this by Saturday.”
The biggest drawback to postponing until Sunday would be the lodging problems it would create for athletes, coaches and fans from schools traveling a far distance to Wichita. Many only booked hotels for Friday, and trying to make sure everyone is accommodated for a Saturday night stay would be challenging.
Although fitting the entire meet in on Saturday is the goal, there will be a limit to how much of the meet can be contested, according to Lentz. He said officials are contemplating a time they would not feel comfortable going past, mentioning midnight as a possibility.
The rainfall could also affect the jumping events, as the long jump and triple jump pits were covered in ankle-high water Friday. Lentz said officials will be at Cessna Stadium at 5 a.m. Saturday to treat the pits and try to have them prepared for the 8 a.m. start time.
Other postponements include:
- 5A baseball: The Bishop Carroll-Topeka Seaman semifinal game, which was scoreless in the bottom of the third inning, will resume 10 a.m. Saturday at Eck Stadium in Wichita. The winner will play St. Thomas Aquinas for the title at approximately noon.
- 5A softball: Bishop Carroll vs. Shawnee Heights championship at Maize postponed until 10 a.m. Saturday.
- 4A baseball: Tonganoxie is set to resume its quarterfinals game against Nickerson on Sunday at at 1 p.m. in Salina.
- 4A softball: Eudora was scheduled to pick up its quarterfinals game against Rose Hill on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Salina.
- 3A baseball and softball in Emporia was postponed until 10 a.m. Saturday, while 6A softball in Lawrence will also pick up play starting 10 a.m. Saturday.
- Girls Soccer: All games across the three championship classes (6A, 5A and 4-1A) were postponed until Saturday. Class 4-1A (Topeka) was hoping to get semifinals and championship games in on Saturday, while the other two classes scheduled their final for Sunday.