With no place to run, jump and throw in the First State, Delaware’s high school track and field athletes will travel to Maryland to compete for state titles this winter.
The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s board of directors has voted unanimously to hold the DIAA Indoor Track and Field Championship on Feb. 21, 2014, at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center in Landover, Md. The Friday afternoon meet will begin at 3 p.m.
The event had been held at the University of Delaware Fieldhouse in the past, but UD officials decided to remove the track and install artificial turf to increase year-round usage of the facility. That left no Delaware venue suitable to host the state indoor meet.
“I truly think when this first started everybody feared the worst, that we would lose indoor track as a sport,” DIAA executive director Kevin Charles said Monday. “But the schools came out pretty solidly in support of indoor track, and that’s a good thing.”
DIAA found that 35 member schools participate in boys indoor track, and 36 member schools compete in girls indoor track. Of all winter sports athletes, Charles said about one-third of girls and 20 percent of boys participate in indoor track.
“Those are not insignificant numbers,” Charles said. “… When you throw those numbers out to schools, you begin to see the impact of it.”
Charles said the Prince George’s site will be more expensive but has vastly improved spectator seating and site lines. The motion approved by the DIAA board is for one year, and DIAA will reassess the future of the event after the 2014 indoor meet.
“We’ll look at what the total expense was, not only for DIAA, but most importantly to our member schools,” Charles said. “What was the cost, and what kind of difficulties did we encounter? We’ll take a look at all the factors – how did it affect participation, the number of spectators attending, that sort of thing.”
First State pride
Some of Delaware’s top fall sports teams earned impressive victories over out-of-state competition over the weekend.
* Allie Yeager scored two goals as the top-ranked Cape Henlopen field hockey team traveled to Bloomsburg (Pa.) on Saturday and came away with a 3-0 victory.
* Stephen Freeborn returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the first quarter, and Troy Reeder rushed for two 3-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter as second-ranked Salesianum stunned a homecoming crowd of more than 8,000 with a 36-19 football victory at Steubenville (Ohio) on Friday.
* The top-ranked Sallies soccer team flew to Las Vegas and posted two shutout victories – 2-0 over Faith Lutheran on Friday and 3-0 over Green Valley on Saturday. Dylan Huber scored both goals against Faith Lutheran. Liam Hill scored twice against Green Valley, with Huber getting the other goal.
* The second-ranked Appoquinimink soccer team knocked off Calvert Hall College (Md.) 2-1 at home on Saturday, with Sam Jester scoring both goals.
* The top-ranked Padua volleyball team outlasted Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) 3-2 at home on Friday night, winning the fifth game 20-18. Jennifer Borio had 20 kills, while Sarah Cushing added five blocks and 32 assists.
Getting in gear
Expect some of the fastest times of the season Friday when the Joe O’Neill Invitational cross country meet is held at Bellevue State Park.
“I think most coaches look at this as the beginning of the championship season,” Brandywine girls cross country coach Michelle Flanigan said. “After this meet, teams will have their conference meets and then we’ll roll into counties and states. So this is really a nice indicator of where kids are heading into the final three weeks of the season.”
Flanigan said about 30 teams have entered. Unlike many meets that split teams into large- and small-school divisions, the O’Neill has only one varsity boys race and one varsity girls race.
“It’s really the first time to bring all the teams together into one division,” Flanigan said. “Most of the teams that travel to other places on the weekends are all coming here. The course is fast, it’s flat, it’s a great meet for kids.”
Rounding it up
* Concord’s George Kosanovich won the statewide round of voting in USA Today’s best high school football coach in the nation contest. Now Kosanovich has advanced to a regional competition against coaches voted the best in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsvylania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
James Hanby organized a virtual vote party to support Kosanovich, which began Monday night and will run until voting ends at noon Friday. Hanby is asking fans to vote for Kosanovich as many times as possible in an hour. Go to contest.usatodayhss.com/vote/bestcoach2013/r2 to vote.
* Archmere athletic director David Oswinkle has been confirmed as chairman of the DIAA Boys Lacrosse State Tournament Committee.
* Caravel will host a football game between two out-of-state powers on Oct. 26. Poly Prep Country Day (6-0) of Brooklyn, N.Y., which already owns a 28-20 victory over Salesianum, will meet Friendship Collegiate Academy (2-2) of Washington, D.C., which plays a schedule stacked with some of the nation’s top high school teams. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. Admission will be $5 for adults, $3 for students.