By Josh Brown
TROY — As the coaches’ meeting broke up and the teams ran back to their buses only 45 minutes after the meet began, Troy junior thrower Alaura Holycross walked by, looked up to the sky and made her displeasure known to the storm clouds hanging overhead.
“I. Am. Mad!” she yelled.
Her coach shared her frustration, too.
For the second year in a row, Troy’s Herb Hartman Invitational was cancelled due to inclement weather Wednesday night as late afternoon thunderstorms crept through Miami County. It was an unusual cancellation this time, though, as the coaches moved the meet up two days from its original Friday time in an attempt to avoid the bitter cold and even possible snow that is in the forecast for that day.
“We did that for the kids,” Troy girls track and field coach Kurt Snyder said. “We know they don’t enjoy competing in 40-degree weather, 20-mile-per-hour winds and snow. Saturday, it looked like 68 degrees and a 10 percent chance of rain for Wednesday, so we decided to try it. Most of the teams and the officials were able to be here, so we gave it a shot. But we can’t control the weather.”
In the end, Troy was merely trying to avoid what had happened the previous season, as last year’s Herb Hartman Invitational was cancelled before it could even get underway. And the decision still looked sound — as of Wednesday night, Friday’s forecast still called for a 50 percent chance of snow with a high of 50 degrees and low of 28.
“We just cancelled it last year,” Snyder said. “It was 32 degrees and sleeting, so we called it before it even started.”
Early Wednesday morning, the storms still appeared like they would hit later in the night, potentially after the meet was over. But by early afternoon, severe thunderstorm watches were in effect until 9 p.m., the meet began to sunny and warm conditions at 4:30 p.m. — and at roughly 5:15 p.m., the meet was put under a lightning delay, followed by heavy rains and its official cancellation at roughly 5:30 p.m.
Adding to the sting of losing the meet was the fact that it was Troy’s Senior Night.
“I’m disappointed for the kids,” Snyder said. “They enjoy competing at home — especially Senior Night. The seniors are all ready to compete one last time in the regular season at home. We still have the (Greater Western Ohio Conference) meet here, but I feel bad for the seniors that won’t be able to compete at the GWOC.”
One Troy senior in particular, high jumper Dasia Cole, missed a shot at a school record.
“Dasia Cole cleared 5-2 in the high jump before it got called,” Snyder said. “She was actually going to for the school record at 5-4 right before we got the delay. So she was disappointed. I feel bad for the kids.”
A few of the events did get finished before the meet was called off, though, with some of the field events being made official despite being cut short.
For Troy’s girls, Megan Myers began the day by winning the 2,000 steeplechase in 8:35.7, roughly 11 seconds off the school record in her first-ever attempt at the race, while Alyse Holter was fourth (9:42.7), Adrianna Burghardt was fifth (9:50.3) and Madi Rougier was sixth (9:52.2). Holycross won the shot put with a throw of 37-10, and teammate Lenea Browder was second with 37-1.5. Hannah Simister was also seventh (30-9) and Kylee Brooks was eighth (30-9).
In the high jump, Cole was tied with Piqua’s Ashley Ho and Springfield’s Camryn Rakestraw for first at 5-2. In the girls long jump, Troy’s Annah Stanley (14-9), Caitlyn Cusick (14-7.5) and Breann Stith (14-4.25) took second, third and fourth, respectively. In the pole vault, Christine Moser was tied for second, clearing 9-6, and Lilli Cusick was tied for fifth, clearing 8-6. The 4×800 relay team on Olivia Tyre, Emma Shigley, Morgan Gigandet and Jenna Zimmerman was second (10:05.17), and the ‘B’ team’s Smith, Klawon, Klopfenstein and Ortega was seventh (11:54.29).
For Troy’s boys, Kameron Block was second in the discus (137-7) and Travis Hall was fifth (124-8). Keenan Kinnel and Nick Mittelstadt were tied for fourth in the high jump, both clearing 5-9. The 4×800 team of Falknor, Plantz, Zonner and Iverson was fifth (9:31.38). In the long jump, Hayata Nagata was sixth (18-10.5).
For Milton-Union’s boys, Shannon Milnickel picked up a victory in the 2,000 steeplechase, winning in 6:52.6. The 4×800 relay team was also second in 9:11.1 and Sam Motz was sixth in the discus (117-1).
For Milton-Union’s girls, freshman Emily Hornberger won by clearing 10-0 and Laura Billing was tied for seventh, clearing 6-0. Beyonce Bobbitt was third in the shot put (35-9.25). Ally Lyons and Allison Freisthler both cleared 4-9 in the high jump and were tied for fifth, and the 4×800 relay team was sixth (11:39.93).
For Tippecanoe’s boys, Isaac Haas was fourth in the discus (125-6), the 4×800 relay team of Davis, Ballard, Poynter and Spencer was fourth (9:24.63) and Colin Durcan was eighth in the 2,000 steeplechase (8:07.5).
For Tippecanoe’s girls, the 4×800 relay team of Brown, Shininger, DeHass and Martino was third (10:35.1). Jaclyn Bashore was tied for fifth in the pole vault, clearing 8-6, and Rebeka Hartman was tied for seventh, clearing 6-0.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.