Kramer Fife Relays canceled

Published 12:04 am Friday, March 27, 2009

NATCHEZ — Confirming concerns from a day earlier, Adams County Christian School was forced to cancel its sixth annual Kramer Fife Relays Thursday.

The track and field meet, which was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., was complicated by Wednesday night’s severe storms and was also threatened by pending thunderstorms for Thursday afternoon.

“The accumulation of rain in the gauges on our campus was pretty substantial, especially in our field event areas,” said ACCS athletic director Paul Hayles. “That makes it nearly impossible for us to hold those field events.”

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Hayles called all the schools scheduled to participate in the meet at 8:30 a.m. to let them know the event was off.

He said he had to make the decision early in the morning before any of the out of own schools got on the road to come to Natchez.

And while some teams had already canceled their attendance, many were still waiting for the call Thursday morning.

“You definitely don’t want to have someone en route or have them show up, only to find out the have to turn around and go back,” Hayles said.

Despite sunny skies early Thursday afternoon, Hayles said the school’s decision was the right one.

There were flash flood warnings for the afternoon and early evening, and Hayles said some of the meet’s events would have run through 8 or 9 p.m.

“The weather forecast we received was that we were supposed to have storms coming in the afternoon,” he said. “But it wasn’t so much if we were going to have sunshine, but could we keep the surface correct for the meet.”

Hayles said multiple events occurred that demonstrated it was not a good day for the meet.

Ken McLemore, the MPSA’s track and field facilitator, was supposed to come to Natchez to run the meet, but he slipped while loading equipment into his car, breaking a rib.

“He was having a little trouble breathing, but he told me he’s alright,” Hayles said. “We had so many different things occur. You could just tell it wasn’t going to be a good day for this.”

The scholarship, which comes from proceeds from the meet, will still be given to a senior student-athlete at ACCS, Hayles said.

The school sold T-shirts to students in advance of the meet, and proceeds from that will help fund the scholarship.

“A lot of people put a lot of heart and effort into everything,” Hayles said. “It’s disappointing, but it was simply the right call. We look forward to hosting it next year and being bigger and better with it.”