COVID-19 has caused a change in the site of the state cross country championships.
Idaho High School Activities Association executive director Ty Jones confirmed the state title races are moving from Eagle Island State Park to the Portneuf Wellness Center in Pocatello.
Idaho State Parks and Recreation told the IHSAA that the state meets couldn’t be held at Eagle Island because the Central District Health has Ada County in the “red” category, Jones said.
Portneuf Wellness Center was the site of the 2019 state championship meets.
“It’s unfortunate because our kids and coaches loved being (at Eagle Island),” Jones said.
“We had to make a decision because we’re two weeks away (from state). The main part is we couldn’t guarantee two weeks out that we could use Eagle Island with the numbers (fans/athletes) that we needed it for. For lack of a better term, we’re hedging our bets. Spectators are a piece of it too.”
It won’t be a traditional state meet either. The races are being held over two days, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, instead of one because Portneuf Wellness Center has a Halloween party scheduled, Jones said.
The 5A, 4A and 3A state meets will be held on Oct. 30 with the 2A and 1A meets on Oct. 31. This will also allow for fans and athletes to be cleared out between races, Jones said.
The IHSAA has also secured an alternate site to the alternate site. If the pandemic spikes in Pocatello, Jones said, the meets will be moved to Ridgevue High School.
“It’s been an interesting time,” Jones said. “Our main goal from the very beginning was to get kids participating again. If we’re able to get our fall activities in the next three or four weeks, I’ll feel very fortunate.”