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Indoor track and field athletes from Group 1A East and 2A East schools, which includes Bruton locally, were told Monday they would not be competing in a regional meet originally scheduled for today.
Bruton Athletic Director Richard Onesty, who served as the meet director, was forced to cancel the meet after Monday’s winter weather prevented 11 of the 19 teams participating teams from traveling to the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Newport News.
Prior to the meet, regional officials came to an agreement the meet would be canceled if more than half of the teams would not be able to travel.
The Boo Williams Sportsplex did not have any available times later in the week because of other regional meets taking place at the complex.
Other alternatives were considered, including holding the meet at the Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center in Richmond or holding an outdoor track meet at a different venue altogether.
Ultimately, Onesty and track coaches from other schools came up with a solution intended to soften the blow for schools whose athletes were not given a final chance to qualify for the state meet.
For running events, those athletes who have posted a state qualifying time in an event will still advance to the state meet as usual. However, three additional athletes with non-qualifying state times per event will earn spots in the state meet.
Two additional relay teams and three additional field athletes per event will be added to the state meet under the same guidelines.
Non-qualifying athletes and relay teams are chosen to advance to the state meet based on seeding in the regional performance lists, which rank athletes in their respective events heading into a meet based on their season-best times or distances.
For Bruton, this change resulted in three additional athletes advancing to the Group 1A/2A state meet for the Panthers. In total, Bruton will take 28 athletes to the state meet Feb. 24 and 25 at Liberty University.