Berkshire County's track and field standouts have two extra days to prepare for the best in both Central and Western Massachusetts.
Due to expected inclement weather, the MIAA has postponed its Western/Central Mass. Division I and II meets, originally scheduled for this morning, to Monday at 1 p.m. The venues will not change; Division I athletes will compete at Fitchburg State University, while the Division II meet will be held at Westfield State.
Western Mass. track and field director Tom Stewart, reached by phone Monday morning, said the 1 p.m. start time for field events (with a 1:30 p.m. start time for track events) gives teams plenty of time to get to the schools.
"We're going at 1:30 because we figure there are going to be a lot of hometown parades for Memorial Day," Stewart said. "We don't want to stretch those guys by asking them to get there at 9:30."
Weather forecasts for today in both Westfield and Fitchburg call for rain and wind, with the high temperature around 50 degrees.
"[Saturday is] supposed to be rainy and cold, and that's not going to do any athlete any good," Stewart said.
At least one county coach was prepared for the postponement. Pittsfield girls coach Stephanie Ambrose will give her Generals individual workouts to complete on their own this weekend.
"It's a Plan ‘B,' " Ambrose said. "The kids will be happy that they won't have to be on a bus at 6:15 a.m. [Saturday]!"
The relief of no early Saturday morning bus ride is shared by Taconic junior sprinter Courtney Luscier. She's seeded 10th in Division I in the 100 meters, and certainly wasn't looking forward to the possibility of sprinting in cold, rainy conditions.
"Sprinting in the rain is hard, especially because your muscles get cold and tight," Luscier said Friday night. "You want them to be as loose as they can be."
The later start time of the meet is also a benefit, according to Hoosac Valley runner Meg Rodowicz. She's slated to run the 800 and a leg of the Hurricanes' 3,200 relay, and likes having the extra time to increase her focus on each event.
"It will give us more time to rest and feel ready to run," she said. "At 9:00, everybody's still sleepy."
Luscier's plan is to get a workout in today and rest Sunday, in the hopes of improving her 13.04-second seed time in the 100 on Monday in Fitchburg.
"[The postponement is] definitely a relief," she said. "I had a feeling it would be postponed. It's been very lousy."
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