|The infield still had a foot or two of snow on it.|
|Sitting water on the track was an issue. This is also the awards table.|
|The field was just cleared off enough to do the shot put and discus.|
|This is how results were posted.|
The meet was run like any typical 2-day meet: field event and running preliminaries on Friday, finals and relays on Saturday. The triple jump and long jump pits were giant puddles of water and they had a pump out there to try to pump out the water. It was okay in the morning before the snow started melting, but once afternoon hit the pits were unusable. Kids with brooms kept sweeping off the wettest areas of the track, but when one kid went over a hurdle and fell there was quite a big splash.
While things moved along in the meet, it was a little bit on the slow side, with some long lags between races. The concession stand and t-shirt printer did brisk business as Nikiski doesn't have much in the way of restaurants or food (it is about 20 minutes north of Kenai towards Captain Cook State Park). After having been part of running track meets in Homer the previous two weekends, it was a relief for me to just be able to sit and watch the meet and not have to time my sprints to the bathroom between races.
This meet was for Region III, which is the fastest region in the state, for 4A (large schools), 3A (small schools), 2A (really small schools) and 1A (really, really small schools). The top 4 winners of each heat on Friday advanced to the finals on Saturday. In the finals, the winner of the race goes to state, and then the next 4 top times from all regions also go to state. Because of this, unless you win the race (like Homer's girl's 4x400 relay team), you won't know until all the results from all the regions are in who is going to state. We thought it would be a couple of days till we knew, but by time we got home from the meet last night and went online to athletic.net, all the region results were posted and we were excited to see that 9 girls from Homer and 4 boys were heading to state. This is Homer's first year in 3A (not because they lost numbers but because the cutoff changed. I believe schools over 500 students are 4A; Homer High has 385 to 400.), so they qualified in more events than they usually do, but looking over the results a number of kids would have qualified even in 4A.
This coming weekend, May 17-18 is the state track meet in Fairbanks. It's a 12+ hour drive up there or a pretty expensive plane ticket so I'm not sure if I'll be heading up there. The kids will be getting on a tour bus that will take all the state qualifiers from the Kenai Peninsula. Any way about it, we're glad Regionals is over since Homer track parents were braced for the possibility of having to run the meet!