At the beginning of the first day of the Class 3A and 4A state track and field championships yesterday at Western Maryland College, several voiced concern about the heat and humidity.
But those concerns soon evaporated -- along with the hot weather.
Thunderstorms suspended competition for two hours yesterday before a few events eventually got finished -- which will make the schedule on tomorrow's day of competition a little bit busier than usual.
The 3,200-meter run plus the 800 and 3,200 relays were the only track events that finished. Some trials were completed, such as in the 100 and 200 -- much of the time in the rain. Also, a mixed bag of field events were finished.
The field events that were not completed -- or even started -- will go tomorrow as will the 100 and 110 hurdles. Other than that, everything else was completed on schedule.
To help catch up, competition is set to start at 9 a.m. tomorrow, one hour earlier than previously scheduled.
The storms stopped competition at about 4:45 p.m. Races began again around 6:50, but concessions were made to the weather.
The field events were suspended, and no events that were considered dangerous -- like hurdles -- went off. In addition, time between races was shortened drastically.
For example, both the boys and girls competed in the 3,200-meter run at the same time. The boys began their race first and, seconds later, the girls started theirs.
"We had to wait it out," said Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. "We had about two hours worth of meet left to complete, and we're on a tight schedule for Saturday."
Carroll County schools did little on this first day. Westminster and South Carroll were the only county schools there.
The Owls ran in a few events, but did not score. South Carroll, meanwhile, only came for the field events but the weather washed out any competition.
Westminster had teams in the boys 800 and girls 3,200-meter runs.
For the Owls, the girls came in 10th in a difficult race with a time of 10:27.5. The boys, however, did not do as well.
A dropped baton cost the Westminster boys badly, as they fell ZTC all the way to 13th.
The dropped baton came at the end of the second leg, and Westminster finished with a time of 1 minute, 38.1 seconds. This was one of the final races, and the track was nearly covered in darkness.
Westminster coach Jim Shank said he did not think much was affected by the problems.
"The times will be a little slower [in certain events], but they're slower for everyone," said Shank.
Some said the rain proved helpful to distance runners as the temperature fell after the rain.
"This was perfect distance running weather," said Perry Hall coach Jerry Martin. "It was a cool night, and it was a blessing in disguise."
Despite the weather, a few records were set on the first day of competition.
Sally Glynn of Walter Johnson in Montgomery County continued her great season by setting a mark of 10:24.77 in the Class 3A 3,200.
Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis broke the record in the Class 4A 3,200. Nicolini, who rarely runs this race, decided to take a chance and see how she did.
Nicolini, headed for Auburn in the fall, dueled Krissy Jost of Perry Hall for much of the race.
Nicolini finally took the lead for good on the backstretch of the last lap and went on to clock a 10:29.22, just ahead of Jost (10:33.5).
"It was really nice running weather," said Nicolini. "The rain cooled things off nicely."