Class LL cross country championships rescheduled for Tuesday after heat affected multiple runners Saturday

The CIAC Class LL boys and girls cross country championship races, which were postponed Saturday after several runners collapsed and had to be transported to the hospital after the Class L races, will take place Tuesday at Wickham Park.

The Class LL girls race will start at 2:30 p.m. and the boys race at 3:15 p.m. The State Open, which was supposed to take place Friday at Wickham, has been moved to Nov. 6 at Wickham with the girls race at 2 p.m. and the boys race at 2:45 p.m.

On Saturday, seven high school runners were transported to local hospitals after temperatures soared to 80 degrees during the Class L championships at 2 p.m. Two runners had been transported earlier in the day. Most of the runners were treated for dehydration, CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini said Saturday.

“To the best of our knowledge, everybody was treated and released,” Lungarini said Sunday.

Ten championship races – from Class S to Class L – had been completed when it was decided the Class LL races should not occur because there was not enough coverage available from the town’s emergency services for the meet to continue.

Sunday’s decision came after the CIAC cross country committee met at noon to discuss the issue. The original plan was to run the Class LL races Monday afternoon at Wickham, but rain is in the forecast Monday and the course might not have been in great shape. Also, some of the LL coaches felt that it wasn’t fair to have their runners run on Monday and then have to turn around and run Friday at the State Open, while the rest of the runners ran on Saturday and had extra days of rest.

“I think it’s a good decision,” said Brian Collins, the Glastonbury girls coach who is a member of the committee. His team won the State Open and the Class LL meet last year. “Tuesday might be a little sloppy but what are you going to do? It’s going to be sloppy (Monday). Whether conditions are great or not, it’s going to be the same for every team.”

Said Lungarini: “It gives the most equitable opportunity for all racers to be prepared to compete in the Open championship on the same day.”

Coaches of State Open runners who qualify for the New England championships Nov. 11 in Belfast, Maine will be able to submit entries for the New Englands the night of Nov. 6 after the race. The entries were set to close Nov. 5.