The three-day smorgasbord that caps the track and field season will instead be condensed into more of a lunch-sized portion this year.
The Colorado High School Activities Association revealed its for plan for a two-day (Saturday and Sunday) meet in Lakewood after weather wiped out the possibility of competing Thursday and Friday.
The slimmed down schedule includes no preliminaries, as running events will all be timed finals. There will be four attempts in throws and jumps without prelims. The high jump bar will be raised in 2-inch increments. The pole vault will utilities 6-inch increments. Relay participants will not need to be declared until shortly before the event, allowing coaches the option of juggling teams based on the many tweaks to the schedule.
These were CHSAA’s answers to a long day filled with uncertainty. The event was supposed to begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, but word quickly came down that the snow and rain mix rendered that impossible.
“This snow came earlier than any forecast we'd seen,” CHSAA assistant commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig told CHSAA Now.
For the 180 schools that participate, it turned into a guessing game.
“I said, ‘Stand by,’” TCA coach Alan Versaw told his team via email on Thursday morning, adding that CHSAA was initially “tight-lipped” about its contingency plans.
The new schedule at Jefferson County Stadium will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday and run through the final event, which is supposed to begin at 7:10 p.m. Sunday’s events are supposed to run from 8 a.m. through 6:20 p.m.
The two major distance events will be split, with the 3,200-meter race contested on Saturday and the 1,600 on Sunday.
Even in the early hours Thursday, longtime CHSAA assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann said he never lost confidence that a solution would be found. He said the track meet had been completed in its entirety in each of his 29 years, and he said the record books indicate that had been the case since at least the early 1920s.
“They’ll find a way,” Borgmann said as snow fell around 9 a.m. “Everybody is resourceful. … But this just makes the end of the year interesting. Oh my gosh.”