ELLIOTTSBURG – It’s not common, but not unexpected, to hear a second gun after a race starts at a track and field meet, an indication usually of a false start, and a signal to line up and try again.
When the gun repeated during the girls 4×800-meter relay at the Tri-Valley League track and field championships Wednesday at West Perry High School, it wasn’t a false start – it was more of a false finish.
The meet, which had its start delayed by an hour thanks to a series of lightning strikes in the area, was suspended for the day when another storm front moved in after just four events – all trials – had been completed.
The meet will pick up today at 4 p.m. The four races whose trials are done – 100 and 110 hurdles, and both 100-meter dashes – will have their finals in normal meet order after the 4×800 is complete. Coaches voted to run the 200-meter dash as a regular meet event, meaning no trials will be run and it will take place in heats from the slowest qualifier to the fastest.
Coaches decided not to run the 100 and high hurdles races that way on Wednesday, an option that was considered to try and get the meet completed faster due to the possibility of weather – although as fast as the second storm moved in, it would not have mattered.
The coaches did decide Wednesday that, rather than qualifiers and finals in field events, each jumper and thrower would simply get four attempts. Those events will pick up where they left off Wednesday.
The weather stoppages were reminiscent of the 2007 TVL meet, held at Susquenita, which had to be canceled when bad weather stretched into the evening and a rain date had not been established for the meet.