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OHSAA's Press Release: Link
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio High School Athletic Association has postponed Saturday's state cross country tournament and is moving the championships to Saturday, Nov. 10, due to flooding conditions on the course at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has announced.
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The Ohio High School Athletic Association has made a final decision on pushing back the state's cross country championships, originally scheduled for Saturday at the National Trail Raceway in Hebron, back an entire week due to excess flooding near parking areas and the course itself.
The rescheduled meet will take place on November 10, exactly one day before the NXR Midwest Regional in Terra Haute, Indiana.
Mike Chatfield of Finish Timing, whose company will time the state championships, was notified by the co-tournament director of the meet, Terry Oerhtman, on Thursday of the potential schedule change.
The move has sparked controversy within the cross country community in Ohio. Many teams will have to change hotel and travel accommodations ahead one week, while other teams will have to consider whether to race or skip the NXR Midwest Region the next day in Terra Haute, Indiana. The road trip from Hebron, Ohio, is approximately 400 miles.
The National Trail Raceway venue, in its eighth year holding the state championships, accommodates over 12,000 spectators and produces six races over three classifications. A number of variables likely fit into this decision, including safety of athletes on the course, pending weather, parking availability and adequate sight lines for spectators.
Chatfield said the race course and adjacent areas are "under water" and that "it takes about two to three days for areas to drain and to where it's not muddy."
He added that Ohio has been pummeled with rain over the last two days and conditions are not ideal for racing on Saturday.
This potential shift could put national qualifiers in jeopardy for the likes of girls teams like Beavercreek, ranked No. 11 on the MileSplit50, and No. 17 Centerville. On the boys side, teams that stand to be impacted include Mason, Hudson and Cincinnati St. Xavier.
"I think it would be a terrible situation for all the kids who have been training and been preparing to peak for this week and to hold that for another week will ask a lot of those kids," Beavercreek girls cross country coach Howard Russ said. "I just think it will be really hard for the kids, both physically and mentally."
Russ said the team's No. 1 focus will be on the state championships.
"That's always been our No. 1 goal," he said. "It would be hard to tell the girls not to run all out at the state meet, because the state meet should always be your No. 1 goal."
Because NXN or its accompanying regionals are not a governed by the NFHS, it is considered a club competition, which means the OHSAA can operate based on its own interests and will ultimately come to a decision removed from consideration of any other competition.
MileSplit will have more on the potential rescheduling as new information flows in.
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And for more information into the history of Ohio's state championships at the National Trail Raceway, listen to an interview Terry Oerhtman gave MileSplit in 2016: