Youth track meet canceled |

Youth track meet canceled

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

The unavailability of a local track and field facility on June 3 has caused a race official to cancel the South Shore Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Classic.

Race director Anthony Davis has held the elementary school event the past four years at South Tahoe Middle School. However, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District has ruled that the facility is unsuitable for holding meets.

Davis had also looked at staging the event at other track facilities in the area, but none were available for that date.

“It’s a hard decision for me to make,” Davis said. “I have a business and it didn’t work out moving it to another date. There are too many other conflicts at the end of the school year. I don’t want to interfere and everyone has accommodated me.”

Approximately 425 children from Tahoe Valley, Meyers, Bijou, Al Tahoe, Zephyr Cove and Sierra House elementary schools participated in the meet last year.

“The kids have proven to the community that track and field is fun and they enjoy it,” Davis said. “Kids started believing in the meet, parents started believing in the meet and sponsors started believing in the meet.

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“There are going to be some very disappointed kids this year. This was a real cool event to end school year with.”

One of the disappointed is Tahoe Valley fifth-grader Ricky Braun, who won the long jump last year.

“I really wanted to do it,” Braun said. “That was pretty much the only track meet I’ve been to and this year I wanted to try and set the long jump record.

“All of the kids are just gonna be made and asking why we’re not going to have it.”

Davis nearly canceled the meet two years ago when the South Tahoe Track Foundation folded because of the lack of help.

Key help over the years has come from the elementary school’s physical education instructors.

“Most of the credit for the success of it goes to the P.E. teachers who are losing their jobs,” Davis said. “Over the last five years they have put together a program unlike any other team sport, one that was truly taught in the school.

“The P.E. teachers began working on it in September and that’s what made it a classic.”

Meyers dominated the meet throughout its history, but other schools became more competitive in recent years by holding qualifying meets for the classic.

Because physical education teaching positions are being eliminated at the elementary school for next school year, Davis doubts that the meet can be held as it has in past years.

“I’m hopeful and doubtful,” Davis said. “I had a passion and I can’t judge anyone else, but I’m a track and field nut.”

If anyone is interested in reviving the meet, they should contact Davis at (530) 541-1873. He has offered to help with meet organization and race day.