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Eric Peterson, Published April 29 2013

Weather-related issues force MSUM to cancel Masanz Invite

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State Moorhead has canceled its most visible track event.

The Ron Masanz Invitational outdoor track meet, slated for Saturday, has been called off due to wet conditions around the track.

“It was one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made this year because our student-athletes love it,” said MSUM athletic director Doug Peters. “They want to compete on their home track.”

The event was named after Dragons coaching legend Ron Masanz in 1986.

The meet is usually the only home track event the Dragons have in the spring. This is the first time the entire Masanz meet has been canceled. In past years, there were times were certain events got called off.

“There is a lot of standing water on the field for the field events,” Peters said.

Peters said this is a one-time cancellation for the Masanz. The plan is to resume the annual meet next spring. The Dragons will instead compete in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“I thought it was a good call,” said Dragons senior distance runner Clayton Foster. “To be honest, it hasn’t been very exciting this spring, having to train while being bundled up like it’s winter.”

Peters said the meet is a chance to recognize coach Masanz, who was a key figure in Dragons track and field history. Masanz was the head men’s track coach for the Dragons from 1968-1986 and again in 1990. He guided the Dragons to a combined 28 men’s indoor and outdoor conference titles and also coached 49 All-Americans.

The Masanz, on average, attracts between 30 to 50 former Dragons track athletes back to campus, Peters said.

“We miss out on that opportunity,” Peters said.

For a second consecutive weekend, the Dragons have had to cancel and event that draws alumni back to campus.

MSUM also canceled last Saturday’s spring football game. The football team had to move all of its spring practices to fields off campus.

The Dragons softball team completed its season this past weekend, playing all 43 games of its games on the road. The softball team didn’t practice on its home field this entire spring season.

“It has been a frustrating spring,” Peters said. “None of our spring sports have been able to compete at home.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com