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Tom Mix, Published March 26 2012

Pleasant weather shifting indoor meets to outdoors

WEST FARGO – Due to unforeseen agreeable weather, the Eastern Dakota Conference boys and girls indoor track and field meet is getting a major name change.

Barring any deviation in the pleasant weather the area has been experiencing this season, the meet is shedding its “indoor” tag and is now being referred to as the EDC outdoor invitational.

The meet, originally scheduled for the Bison Sports Arena, now is set to begin at 3 p.m. April 3 at West Fargo High School’s outdoor track.

The North Dakota Class A and B state indoor track and field meets may be moving outside as well.

Both meets were originally scheduled to be held in the Bison Sports Arena Friday and Saturday, but North Dakota State men’s track and field coach Don Larson said there remains the possibility that both could be moved outdoors.

Larson said he wouldn’t have a definitive decision until today.

“We can’t complain about the weather,” Larson said. “It’s in the works, but not set in stone. We’ll wait and see until we get a better idea about what is going to happen in terms of weather.”

If the state indoor meets were to move outside, it’s likely that Class A and Class B would combine into one outdoor meet and be held on one day rather than two.

Last Thursday, West Fargo, Fargo North and Fargo South competed in an outdoor triangular meet making it the first time either school began a spring track and field season outdoors.

Normally, it takes until late April and in some years, early May before North Dakota track and field teams have been able to hold competitions outdoors.

West Fargo activities director Curt Jones began inquiring about the move last week with fellow EDC activities directors and said the meet will be conducted outdoors unless weather forced them back to the BSA. Jones said NDSU will have to know by Monday if it needs to prepare its facility.

“Not everyone was in favor of it, but we already ran one meet outside last week and everyone thought it went well,” Jones said. “There’s just a lot more space outside. You don’t have that confinement and the athletes get a better feel of their routine.

“It works out nicer for us. We don’t have to move all our equipment over to NDSU and we’ll be working with our facility that our workers are familiar with.”

No one seems to be complaining about the weather, but there are dramatic differences in running a track meet outdoors compared to indoors.

An outdoor meet offers an opportunity to run every event and normally allows more event entries for schools.

Fargo North boys track and field coach Gary Mailloux said in past seasons the indoor events have been the showcase or prize events with schools being limited to four entries in each event. The potential state indoor meet moving outdoors could double the number of entries each school is allowed.

“I’m just looking to have a meet where ever, Mailloux said. “The outdoor event offers us a chance to run every event and gives more kids a chance to compete. We’ve just never been faced with this before. The way I look at it is we’ll be ready to go no matter if it’s indoors or outdoors. We’ll take whatever the weather throws at us.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562