Similar to every track and field meet, when the Wildcat Relays ended Saturday some athletes cheered and hugged, and some coaches were disappointed. Unlike all those other meets, however, this one also had a tent nearly blown away by a gust of wind, there were more heavy coats and hoods than shorts, water infiltrated the finish line timer and soaked heat sheets, and only 11 of 18 scheduled events concluded.
Yes, rain put a damper on the annual Temple meet, causing officials to halt competition following the boys 4×200-meter relay, won by Belton, after a handful of teams already had decided to pack up their gear and head for cover.
“We tried to get it as far as we could,” said Temple coach Ron Ford, saturated from head to toe despite his top-to-bottom rain gear.
The meet began under cloudy skies, the temperature in the low 50s and with 12 girls teams and 10 boys teams. Rain sprinkled Wildcat Stadium before noon but showers increased from then on, drenched the track and participant numbers decreased. Following the 4×200, water had disrupted the timing mechanism enough for officials to send everyone home.