The Brunswick girls cross country team secured its school-record 10th straight berth to the Division I state meet last week.
The Blue Devils, however, will have to wait seven more days to make the trip.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that it postponed the Saturday meet until Nov. 10 due to flooding on the National Trail Raceway course in Hebron. All three divisions will compete, starting with the D-III boys at 11 a.m.
The news caught longtime Brunswick coach Kerry Hunter by surprise.
“It’s cross country ... You run in everything. That’s what you do,” he said. “I was kind of excited it about it because the slower it is, the better it is for us. It brings the field closer together so my girls in the back have people closer to them that they can possibly beat.”
The Blue Devils will be joined by fellow Medina County girls teams Medina and Wadsworth, along with individuals Kaylie Kenne and Madelynn Madison of Highland. The boys races will feature Medina’s boys and Highland’s Vince Manning in D-I and Cloverleaf’s Max Gucker in D-II.
Medina resident Ella Gilson will take part in the D-II girls race, competing for Hawken School.
Now the area contingent has to add training miles to get ready.
“While I wholeheartedly understand the impact this move has for all those involved in the event, this is the best solution for the safety and well-being of our participating student-athletes,” OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass said in a press release. “National Trail Raceway has closed the course due to flooding with the ongoing rain we have had in central Ohio, so the conditions will hopefully be much better by next weekend.”
National Trail Raceway, which changed the course layout to include a longer straightaway in front of the stands away from the dragstrip, has been the site since 2011 after a long run at Scioto Downs in Columbus. It holds the state meet and an invitational before the regular season opens in late August.
Brunswick was looking forward to a muddy course after earning a berth out of the Boardman Regional. The Blue Devils entered 10th but were able to place fourth in a miserable, rain-soaked race.
“Ten years in a row is special,” Hunter said. “We usually pick one meet of the year to go all out, and we picked that one — last year it was state — but we cut them back and told them to go after it. They did great.
“Hopefully they block it out (next weekend) and go there and have some fun.”
The physical and mental adjustments to the new training program are challenges. Athletes must return their attention to increased mileage after most were held back over the last few days in preparation for Saturday.
Hunter isn’t worried.
“I’m not worried about the kids. They’re Brunswick tough,” he said. “We’ll go out and do what we need to do. (Assistant coach) Missy (Wojtala) and I will sit down and put our heads together to see what our next step is.
“I think they will be like, ‘OK’ and we won’t make a big deal.”