By David Fong
TROY — More than two decades ago, Troy High School physics teacher Joe Parise moonlighted on weekends as a weatherman for WHIO Channel 7.
Kurt Snyder — a math teacher at Troy Junior High School and Troy High School girls track coach — may not be a weatherman, he’s certainly felt like one this week.
“I’ve been checking a couple of times every day,” Snyder said.
This Friday, Troy will host the Herb Hartman Invitational track and field meet at Troy Memorial Stadium. In addition to coaching the Troy girls team, Snyder also is the meet manager, meaning he could have some difficult decisions to make, based on Friday’s weather.
The current forecast for Friday is a high of 46 degrees, with a low of 25 degrees. There’s also a chance of rain in the forecast. Of course, all of that is subject to change — earlier this week, there was actually a chance of snow on Friday — which makes planning the event that much harder for Snyder, boys coach Deon Metz and Troy athletic director Dave Palmer.
“It’s changed again, just since I looked at it last night,” Snyder said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s hard to say what’s going to happen. We’re just going to have to deal with it.”
One thing already has been dealt with, however. The steeplechase — an annual crowd favorite — has been canceled for this year. It was decided Friday will be too cold to hold the event, which sees distance runners attempt to leap over a 12-foot long, 2 1/2-foot deep pool of water on their five laps around the track.
“You would have kids ending up in the water five times,” Snyder said. “There aren’t many high school kids who can clear the water. That’s too much and it’s going to be too cold. I’d want it to be at least in the 50s before I’d feel comfortable holding that event.”
The meet — which was scheduled to begin with the steeplechase at 4:30 p.m. Friday, will now begin at 5 p.m. with the 4×800 relay.
If there’s rain and wind Friday, it could also potentially affect the pole vault — ironic, considering the meet itself is named after Hartman, one of the area’s foremost authorities on the event.
“That’s something we’ll just have to wait and see,” Snyder said said. “Most of the other events you can run in the rain or the wind. But the pole vault is a little different; obviously safety comes first.”
Should the weather conditions stay as projected for Friday — temperatures in the 40s with a chance of rain — the rest of the event should go ahead as planned, Snyder said. If the weather conditions were to get worse between now and Friday, however, the event likely would be canceled rather than postponed.
Most of that is based on a lack of other options.
“We’re going to do everything we can do run the meet as scheduled — we really don’t have have any other dates we could do it,” Snyder said. “We are committed to other places the rest of the season. That actually happened with the county meet a couple of years ago — they couldn’t run it on the date it was scheduled because of the weather, so they just had to cancel it.”
Metz feels confident the event will go on as planned — perhaps with slight adjustments.
“We’ll have it,” Metz said. “We’ve run in cold weather before. That’s nothing new to us. Plus, it’s a home meet — we can always go in the lockerrooms if it gets too cold.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong