By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
The start of the two-day Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships have been postponed because of winter storm Q. Originally scheduled to start Friday, the competition has been moved back to Saturday and will end Sunday.
Big 12 Conference athletic directors voted unanimously Thursday night to postpone the meet, which is being hosted by Iowa State. The competition will follow the original schedule.
The storm dumped up to a foot of snow around the Kansas City area Thursday morning and later in the day moved into Iowa and snowfalls of three to five inches were reported in the Ames area. Nine schools were able to make it Ames Thursday.
Oklahoma State anticipated travel problems and departed Stillwater by bus Wednesday but wound up driving into the storm. It took them seven hours to travel a distance that should have taken half that time. The team made it as far as Topeka, Kans., at 2:30 a.m. but was stranded their all day Thursday.
The athletic directors faced two options. They could have held the meet as scheduled and Oklahoma State would not have been able to compete. The second option was to reschedule by postponing the competition for a day. Neither option was perfect.
By postponing the meet, student-athletes will now miss some class time Monday. Plus schools that made travel plans to return to campus Sunday will now have to reschedule flights - an expensive proposition.
Another problem created by postponing the competition is that some of the officials scheduled to work the meet have other obligations on Sunday. Big 12 staff and Iowa State administrators are working to resolve that problem.
Baylor was fortunate to make it to Ames. The school's original itinerary had it flying to Kansas City Thursday - MCI airport closed around noon. Anticipating problems with the storm, Baylor rescheduled. The team left Waco at 3:15 a.m. by bus for DFW and flew to Minneapolis on a 7:20 a.m. flight and then bussed to Ames, arriving at 1:45 p.m.
Iowa State's indoor track facility will be available for the teams to practice on Friday.