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Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
The NHC track and field meet will resume at 5 p.m. Monday after lightning forced postponement of Friday’s events at New Haven.

Area storms wash out 2 conference meets

Snider’s Reed Koehlinger clears the bar during the pole vault preliminaries at Friday night’s SAC track and field meet at Northrop High School.

– Two conference track meets were postponed Friday after stormy weather passed through Allen County.

The SAC meet at Northrop will pick up where it left off at 11 a.m. today, and the NHC meet at New Haven will resume at 5 p.m. Monday.

The SAC meet was delayed about 6:10 p.m. Friday, just as the running trials concluded. With lightning and rain approaching, fans and athletes evacuated to the Northrop school building. After about a 90-minute delay, and with more storms looming, meet officials decided to postpone it.

“I think we maybe could have gotten two more races in, but going back and forth all night’s probably not healthy for the kids or the environment,” Northrop athletic director Bob Shank said.

Four final events were concluded before the rain in the SAC meet.

Wayne sophomore Maya Gates took first in girls shot put. Another Generals’ sophomore, JeBria Green, took first in the high jump, winning in a tiebreaker. The Northrop girls took first in the 3,200-meter relay, and Concordia won the boys 3,200 relay.

The NHC meet was pushed back until Monday because of the unavailability of the New Haven track. The middle school conference meet is scheduled for today.

“It will affect us getting refocused,” New Haven girls track coach and meet director Larry Stemmler said. “It will be a time to regroup, but everybody is in the same boat. That is the only fair thing about it.

“We looked at the radar, and there was more coming and by the time you got warmed up we would have to delay again, and it was already getting dark and we would have had to finish up discus and shot put (some other time). We always try to put the kids’ safety first. It was the right choice to make, not getting anyone hurt.”

The NHC meet was delayed at 6:40 p.m. because of lightning. The first finals event, the hurdles, had just been completed.

Athletes and spectators were taken into the school’s gymnasium until the meet was postponed at 7:45 p.m.

Bellmont girls and Carroll boys had won the two 3,200-meter relays, while Bellmont’s Holly Hankenson won the girls 100 hurdles and Homestead’s Jordan Davis won the boys 110 hurdles.