High school girls runners begin the 5-kilometer race during the Class B North regional championship on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Troy Howard Middle School course in Belfast. The state championship races for all classes will be held on the same course, starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 27. Credit: Courtesy of Glendon Rand

With an eye toward outracing the worst of this weekend’s predicted inclement weather, the Maine Principals’ Association revised its schedule for Saturday’s cross-country state championship meet at the Troy A. Howard Middle School in Belfast.

The MPA’s cross-country committee opted to take two steps: moving up the start of the meet by one hour to 10 a.m. and reducing the time between each race by 10 minutes to save an additional 50 minutes.

The revised meet schedule is as follows: Class A boys at 10 a.m., Class A girls at 10:35 a.m., Class B boys at 11:10 a.m., Class B girls at 11:45 a.m., Class C boys at 12:20 p.m. and Class C girls at 12:55 p.m.

Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast for Belfast calls for a 70 percent chance of rain, mainly after 2 p.m., with a high temperature near 41 and a northeast wind ranging from 5 to 10 miles per hour with gusts up to 20 miles per hour.

“Our meet director felt that by taking the original schedule and shortening the times between races and moving it up an hour, we believe we can get the races completed by 1:30, and by then we’ll be inside doing the awards and then be able to get people home,” MPA assistant executive director Mike Bisson said.

Bisson said one key factor in the decision was the middle school gymnasium’s proximity to the finish line.

“Cross-country coaches basically feel like they can run in anything, but you also have course workers and spectators to worry about,” he said. “Part of the decision-making process is whether you have a warm shelter for people so when the kids are done running they can go get warmed up if they’re wet on a cold day, and we have that with the gym right next to the course.

“If it was at a site that didn’t have an indoor warming area I don’t know that we would host this [Saturday].”

If the state cross-country meet was postponed Saturday, the makeup date would be Saturday, Nov. 3.

“I think the general feeling among the coaches is that we’d really like to get our kids running, so the kids who are going to move on [to the New England championships at Manchester, New Hampshire, on Nov. 10] can focus on continuing their seasons and those who would be done after Saturday will be done,” Bisson said.

New site set for rescheduled field hockey finals

The three high school field hockey state championship matches that on Thursday were rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3, will be played at Deering High School in Portland.

That location change was announced Friday morning by the Maine Principals’ Association.

The games originally were scheduled to be played this Saturday at the Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University in Bangor but were postponed by the MPA’s field hockey committee due to predicted inclement weather this weekend.

The games could not be played at Husson on Nov. 3 because the Eagles have a previously scheduled Eastern Collegiate Football Conference home football game against Gallaudet University of Washington, D.C., that afternoon.

The Nov. 3 state championship field hockey schedule on the artificial turf at Deering High School will begin with the Class B final between Gardiner (16-1) and York (13-3-1) at 11 a.m., followed by the Class C matchup between Winthrop (16-1) and Spruce Mountain of Jay (11-5-1) at 1 p.m., and the Class A game between Skowhegan (17-0) and Biddeford (16-0-1) at 3 p.m.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...