Rain likely.

Chance of precipitation 70%.

Those two phrases have certainly not been music to the ears of high school track coaches in Maine. Last Saturday, the Class A and C state meets were washed out with some of Mother Nature’s soggiest weather and it’s not getting any better.

The Class A meet is scheduled for Saturday at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. The forecast for the Brunswick area involves those same two phrases:

Rain likely.

Chance of precipitation 70%.

With the impending weather, the officials at Bowdoin have been busy this week preparing the site.

“We had packed up all our track equipment and fencing for the year,” says Bowdoin track coach Peter Slovenski. “Now we are working hard to get everything out and ready again.”

The original site of the “A” meet was Thornton Academy in Saco. As soon as the meet was called off, Bowdoin became a possibility.

“When we heard the state meets had been postponed, we volunteered right away to host one,” says Slovenski. “We have a beautiful facility, and we love to have championships on it when we can.”

Unlike most venues in the state, Whittier Field offers the protection of a covered grandstand for about 1,000 fans and athletes. That refuge will certainly be sought out by those arriving early. Teams will also bring their own tents in an attempt to keep athletes dry.

Because of the safety concern of the high jump and pole vault, a couple of possibilities have popped up. One is Farley Field House.

“The only drawback to the field house is that it’s a long, half-mile away from the track,” says Slovenski. “Multi-event athletes in the high jump will have a tough time getting back and forth to their events.”

Slovenski’s son Dave is the top seed in the pole vault, competing for Brunswick. His best competition comes from Lewiston’s Matt Cyr. Toby Poirer of Lewiston is the top-seeded high jumper. Both Cyr and Poirer are entered in multiple events.

“It’s better to jump in safe conditions than unsafe conditions,” says Lewiston coach Ray Putnam. “(The move inside) has been done before, so it’s not unprecedented. The only problem I could foresee is if a kid has to be at the field, (the officials) will have to make provisions to get the kids back and forth.”

“We’re coming down in big school buses. We can’t bring the kids up and down the street in those.”

Another possibility is renting a large tent.

“We are looking at a way to put a tent over the high jump takeoff area,” says Slovenski. “I think that would be a clever solution to high jump safety, but it costs $500 more than moving the event into the field house.”

Unfortunately, the slimmest possibility is proceeding as planned because it’s “not likely” the sun will be shining.

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