Floyd washes out more sporting events; Horse racing canceled throughout region; PGA 1st round postponed

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hurricane Floyd forced the postponement of numerous sporting events scheduled for yesterday and today throughout the region.

Horse racing from Virginia to New York was canceled yesterday and at least one track will not run today.

The Orioles-Athletics games for Wednesday and yesterday were both postponed.

The first round of the PGA B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y., was postponed early in the first round, with organizers still hoping to get in the full four rounds through Sunday.

Some golfers managed to tee off before the rain began, but they soon had to head for the clubhouse.

"By our third or fourth hole, the bunkers were full of water and the greens were starting to fill up," Tom Lehman said. "There was just not much you could do about that."

Even playing indoors didn't guarantee that the games would go on.

Heavy rain and flooded roads caused postponement of NHL exhibitions matching the Detroit Red Wings and Rangers in New York and the Washington Capitals against the Flyers in Philadelphia. The Caps and Flyers will play Sept. 27. No new date was set for the game at Madison Square Garden.

The aptly named Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL lost two preseason games this week to Floyd.

Horse racing

Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Va., will not conduct today's scheduled nine-race card that included two steeplechase events and six turf races, and simulcast wagering centers in the state probably will close for the second straight day.

All the Maryland centers for simulcast wagering were shut down yesterday, including the off-track betting parlors, and Rosecroft Raceway canceled its live card last night. Two other area tracks, Delaware Park and Charles Town Races, were dark yesterday, although Delaware did not conduct scheduled simulcast or slot wagering.

Live centers that also closed included Belmont Park, The Meadowlands, Garden State Park and Harrington and Freehold raceways. Most were waiting to assess the storm's lingering effects before deciding whether to hold racing today and tonight.

Jim Mango, executive vice president of the Maryland Jockey Club, expects Laurel Park, Pimlico and Rosecroft to re-open for simulcast betting today.

"We were kind of watching this morning [yesterday] to see how hard it would hit, and, in the best interest of public safety, we decided to shut down," said Mango. "We have eight different locations around the state, and some of them have taken a lot of water. But we will definitely open tomorrow."

Colleges

The biggest local college postponement was the South Carolina State-Morgan State football game tomorrow. The school in Orangeburg, S.C., was closed Tuesday evening and is not due to reopen until Monday. The football players dispersed. So far, no new date has been set, and rescheduling the game may depend on the two teams' status in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference race.

A women's soccer tournament involving Mount St. Mary's and UMBC at East Carolina this weekend remained in question because one of the teams scheduled to compete is UNC-Wilmington, in a coastal region where Floyd caused significant damage.

The Maryland women's soccer team was slated to play at North Carolina State tonight, but the game was shifted to 1 p.m. tomorrow, and the Mount St. Mary's-Towson University men's tennis match was postponed yesterday.

Towson is playing host to a volleyball tournament tonight that involves Marist and Long Island University, two Northeast schools that could face travel problems because of the storm.

High schools

Public school action was wiped out yesterday, and many of today's events have been postponed.

In Anne Arundel County, schools are closed again today, and all public school events have been postponed.

Most county public school athletic directors were expected to decide today if their games will be made up tomorrow or next week.

The Severna Park-at-Meade football game has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The Knights Invitational cross country meet will be made up at 3: 30 p.m. Oct. 20 at Baybrook Park.

The Kickoff Classic girls soccer tournament at Severna Park is now scheduled to be a one-day event tomorrow, with Mercy and Whitman playing at 11 a.m. and Severna Park and Walter Johnson playing at 1 p.m. The consolation game will be at 5: 15 and the title game at 7: 15.

In Harford County, officials postponed all athletic events scheduled for today and all home outdoor athletic events tomorrow.

"Our fields are just inundated with water," said Don Morrison, spokesman for the Harford schools. "[To play today or tomorrow] would just chew up the fields forever."

No dates have been set to make up the games, although Morrison said they cannot be played on Monday, because schools are closed.

In Baltimore City, all public school varsity football games scheduled for today have been postponed until tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Bob Wade, supervisor of athletics for the city schools, said athletic directors would wait until today to decide whether to postpone soccer games.

JV football games and the novice cross country meet washed out yesterday have been rescheduled for Monday, said Wade. Football games will kick off at 3: 45 p.m. and the cross country meet, at Herring Run Park, will start at 3.

Baltimore County's JV football games rained out yesterday will not be rescheduled, said Ron Belinko, coordinator of athletics for the county schools, because of the time crunch and the drain on the pool of local officials.

No games can be scheduled for Monday in the county because schools are closed for Yom Kippur, and, Belinko said, there is not enough time to fit them in next week.

"There isn't any place to put them [in the schedule]," said Belinko. "It would be irresponsible on our part to play Tuesday and Thursday and we won't schedule JV games on Saturday morning, because there aren't enough officials with all the varsity games we may have to get in."

Baltimore County athletic directors will decide today whether this afternoon's and tonight's varsity football games should go on as scheduled. Any that are postponed will be played tomorrow at 10 a.m., except for Hereford-Catonsville, which would remain a 7 p.m. game.

In Howard County, decisions on all events were to be made by 10 a.m. today.

Also, Cecil County and Prince George's County schools were closed today, forcing the postponement of several events involving Baltimore area teams.

Sun staff writers Kent Baker, Katherine Dunn and Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 9/17/99

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