Weather postpones state track meet, Summit athletes patiently await competition
Summit High School freshman Ella Hagen woke up on Friday, May 20, expecting to make her freshman debut in the 2022 Colorado State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
The moment is something the distance runner has been looking forward to since seeing her older brother compete at the state meet a few years ago.
Hagen was scheduled to compete in the 4A girl’s 3200-meter run at 8:20 a.m. on Friday morning, but Mother Nature had different plans. A wet, snow-producing cold front blanketed most of Colorado Friday morning, causing travel warnings to be issued.
At the first day of the meet, Jefferson County Stadium was a picturesque spring day with temperatures reaching the high 80s and athletes complaining about the heat. By Friday morning that scene changed completely as cold rain started to pour down throughout the Denver Metro area.
As a result, the Colorado High School Activities Association made a decision at around 6:20 a.m. on Friday morning to cancel the day’s scheduled events citing the athletes safety as its utmost concern.
“I actually found out as we were driving up to the (Eisenhower) tunnel heading down to the meet,” Hagen said. “I was disappointed at first because my whole week has been building up to this day, but there is nothing you can do. I’m still excited to race whenever it will be postponed to.”
As of 4 p.m. on Friday, CHSAA does not have a firm plan on how to proceed but shared two options in order to finish off the state meet.
One plan is for the competition to resume midday Saturday, if conditions permit, allowing the meet to be finished on Sunday. The backup plan is to have the meet resume on Sunday morning with hopes of ending the events on Monday.
CHSAA has four different schedules in place if conditions are fair enough to resume the meet.
The cancellation sent shock waves through the athletes, schools and families present at the meet in Lakewood, including those from Summit High School.
Junior Dom Remeikis spent the night in Denver expecting to compete in the boys 800-meter run on Friday, but due to the cancellation he made the trip back up to Summit County in order to wait and see what CHSAA decides.
“It’s definitely a bummer because I was excited to get out there and race today,” Remeikis said. “It’s weird having to change up my routine and not really knowing when I am going to race.”
For the athletes ready to compete Friday, the cancellation didn’t cause psychical complications. Rather, it took a mental toll.
Athletes have to repeat the process of visualizing their competition, and this process is heightened when they don’t know when they will take to the starting line.
“It’s another buildup where you have to do it all over again with all the visualizations and and prerace things,“ Hagen said. ”Training this week has revolved around racing (Friday), and now you have to figure out how to change the training to match when the race will be postponed to.“
Despite having to wait to see when competition will resume, not much will change for Hagen and Remeikis.
“We will keep the same routine, getting out to do an easy run, continuing good habits of sleep and eating,” Remeikis said. “Pretty much the same as I would for any meet but for an extended period of time, I guess.”
“Mentally it’s the question of am I prepared to race?“ Hagen said. ”Yes, I am prepared to race, and you have to just keep that mindset going in your head for the next few days, hopefully tomorrow.“
Senior Emily Koetteritz concluded her track season at the state track meet on Thursday, May 19. Koetteritz placed 18th in the 4A girl’s triple jump.
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