The second day of the Section VI Track and Field meet is not off and running. The start of Saturday’s meet is being delayed by thunder and lightning. Athletes were warming up on the track when at 11:47 when an announcement was made by P.A. announcer Chuck Yale to clear the track and get out of the aluminum bleachers. The meet was scheduled to begin at noon with field events.
Jamestown’s Strider Field is equipped with a Thor-Guard lightning detection system that picks up the potential of a cloud-to-ground strike. New York State policy calls for an automatic 30 minute delay after lightning or thunder.
“I’m not worried about the track, I’m not worried about the [jumping] pits, I’m worried about it stopping,” said Section VI boys track chairman Paul Ksionzyk of Olean. “I’m just worried about getting it in right now. We’ve got lights so that’s a possibility. We’ve been here for 4 o’clock meets before and we’ve been OK.”
Athletes were moved into a gymnasium at the adjacent Jefferson Elementary School or onto their school busses or cars.
Organizers said they will wait out the storm. “We could have been in the middle of races, so it could always be worse,” said Section VI girls chairman Walt McLaughlin of East Aurora. “It would be a last resort to postponed the meet. Everyone is here, we’re just waiting. To send everyone home and expect them to come back on a different day would not be ideal. There are all sorts of logistical problems.”
---Mary Jo Monnin