Missouri tornado tears roof off school press box, forcing state track championship to relocate

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor

More tornadoes tore through the Midwest this week with one hitting the Missouri capital of Jefferson City overnight Wednesday.

The tornado caused extensive damage at Jefferson City High School, forcing the suspension of the state’s track and field championships.

Missouri state track meet suspended

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The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) announced it was suspending the Class 3, 4 and 5 state high school track and field championship set to take place over the weekend at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.

MSHSAA urged people in a graphic on its website and social media to avoid traveling to the state’s capital Thursday.

Thursday is a travel and practice day with competition scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Jason West of MSHSAA told Missourinet he’s not sure if the weekend venue will change or if it will be scheduled for another weekend.

The Class 1 and 2 championships were held at the stadium last weekend.

Update: State moves meets to 3 sites

MSHSAA announced Thursday afternoon it rescheduled the state meet to take place at three different sites Saturday.

Class 3 was moved to the University of Missouri, located approximately 30 minutes north of Jefferson City in Columbia. Class 4 was moved 90 minute east to Washington High School. And Class 5 was moved 40 minutes north to Battle High School in Columbia.

A tornado that tore through Jefferson City forced the postponement of the state's track and field championships. (AP)
A tornado that tore through Jefferson City forced the postponement of the state's track and field championships. (AP)

Missouri tornado tears roof off press box

Much of the damage was just east of the Jefferson City Public Schools’ administrative offices, where homes and businesses were missing walls and roofs with the addition of trees and fallen power lines, per the News Tribune.

The schools suffered minor damage, including broken windows and minor roof issues, though the high school had zero damage except to its athletic facilities.

Jefferson City Public Schools superintendent Larry Linthacum spoke at a morning press conference, via Missourinet:

“The high school doesn’t really have damage. At the high school, the press box at Adkins stadium, the roof is off. You can literally see through the top.”

Tornado sends debris 13,000 feet up

The funnel of the tornado that hit Jefferson City was wider than its height and sent debris as high as 13,000 feet in the air, the National Weather Service told CNN. Residents said it felt like an earthquake. At least 20 people were treated for injuries.

At least seven people have died from the severe weather that hit several states. Wide-spread flooding is forcing people to evacuate their homes and towns immediately with further fears that dams will break. A total of 171 tornadoes have been reported since Friday, per CNN, and there’s still a danger for more.

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