Davenport Central has waited a long time to host a coed state-qualifying track and field meet. A six-lane track has prevented that from happening.
But after two lanes were added in Brady Street Stadium's $2.6 million renovation project last summer, Central was designated as one of the six host schools across the state for this year's Class 4A state qualifiers.
Then on Thursday around 1 p.m., about three hours before the scheduled start of the meet, Central activities director Brian Ehlinger received a call from the state association that the meet would be pushed back a day because of weather.
"Really a bummer," Ehlinger said. "Had it been a situation where we had hosted in years past or every year, it might not quite have been as big a deal. But this being the first, it was disappointing to get the call."
Central will not be able to host the meet Friday.
Ehlinger said AccuRace Timing, a service out of Wisconsin, couldn't guarantee they would have a timer available. Also, when Ehlinger polled his volunteers, about only a third of them were available to work Friday.
North Scott, which has its own timing system and has hosted the state qualifier for the better part of the last decade, will hold the meet. Field events start at 4 p.m., with running to begin at 4:30.
Even though track and field athletes have competed in far worse conditions this spring, several Class 3A sites postponed their meets Thursday morning. More sites followed.
Then just before 1 p.m., the state decided to push all the meets back to Friday. The forecast is for warmer temperatures and less wind.
While half of the 4A state field in each event is determined by automatic qualifiers, the other half is based on best performances across the state.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union felt it was in the best interest to have everybody participate at the same time so there wouldn't be a competitive weather advantage.
Ehlinger said Central plans to put in a bid to host next year's meet. He also hopes this situation doesn't hinder its chances.
"Going through this once now, I think we have a better idea of what to expect," Ehlinger said. "I'll make sure there is a backup plan with AccuRace if the meet gets moved to the next night.
"We were really looking forward to this. So hopefully we can be here next year for the meet."