Bad weather has slowed down the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships which began yesterday on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Thankfully everyone involved with the track meet is safe.
With that said, our condolences go out to the families of the four Boyscouts killed and 48 adults and children injured in the Iowa tornado yesterday. Dead are 14-year-old Aaron Eilerts; Josh Fennen, 13; Sam Thomsen, 13; and Ben Petrzilka. Our hearts go out to the families.
Yesterday the meet was just 15 minutes old when lightning forced a weather delay. Our sources confirmed that Drake Stadium is in not in a flood zone. The weather delay lasted from 10:20 pm to 1:00 pm CST. However some local hotels were evacuated causing some teams to move hotels. People in the city were sandbagging to fight any future water.
The delay caused the set back of the decathalon, men’s and women’s 4x100 relays, women’s and men’s 100, women’s and men’s 400, women’s long jump, men’s pole vault, men’s discus, women’s high jump, hammer, women’s discus, women’s 3000, women’s pole vault, and men’s 5000.
Believe it or not, these inclement weather conditions can actually foster some fast times. Depending on the race the wind gusts can push runners to fast times. The biggest effect though is psychologically. The weather will force athletes to focus on their technique and performance rather than the enormity of the meet.
We will see very solid if not excellent performances this weekend from Des Moines assuming everyone stays safe. And we hope with all of our hearts that remains the case.
By Jay Hicks.