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Snow cancels prep sports again Tuesday, Howard County indoor track championships canceled

Teanna Jules of Howard is seen racing in the girls 500-meter run at last winter's Howard County championship meet. This year's Howard County meet has been canceled because of snow.
Teanna Jules of Howard is seen racing in the girls 500-meter run at last winter's Howard County championship meet. This year's Howard County meet has been canceled because of snow. (File photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. /)

The Howard County Indoor Track Championships are the first high school sports casualty of the weekend snowstorm that dropped more than two feet of snow on the Baltimore metro area.

Schools around the area will be closed again on Tuesday as the dig out continues. Most schools have been closed since Friday and teams haven't played since Thursday.

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The good news is there's still time to make up almost everything.

The Howard County track meet had been moved to Feb. 8, but on Monday officials canceled it. The state championships are only a week later.

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"It is very disappointing that the kids don't get to compete," Centennial coach Kevin McCoy told the Baltimore Sun Media Group. "Of course everyone gets excited for the county championships. But there is a state rule that prohibits kids from competing in any meets after the region championships. And since our make up day was after regions we could not run it."

Tuesday's Anne Arundel County Indoor Track Championships have been postponed with no make-up date announced. Anne Arundel County schools were already closed on Tuesday, but all of Friday's basketball games had been moved to Tuesday. There was no word on when they would be rescheduled.

Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties also will be closed on Tuesday. Most private schools follow they counties' leads and will be closed.

Andy Warner, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said the timing of big snowstorms makes a difference and we've been lucky.

"Right now, we're kind of toward the end of the regular season," he said. "We have some different tournaments and county championships for indoor track or swimming. Basketball is going for another few weeks and in wrestling, you're coming up on the tournament time frame, but to this point, we haven't had many snow days so there haven't been many postponements."

If schools are closed until later in the week or all week or if there is more snow or ice soon, the other indoor track city or county championships could run into regional meets, which are scheduled between Saturday and Feb. 9. Dual wrestling regionals are Feb. 10. Swimming regionals begin Feb. 11.

Basketball still has plenty of time with regionals beginning Feb. 26 and 27.

The private schools have a tighter time frame with MIAA and IAAM basketball playoffs the week of Feb. 7 and the finals on Feb. 14. But the private schools can play more games in a week than public school teams can, so they can make up games more quickly.

Warner said it's hard to make contingency plans during the winter season for major events, such as county, regional and state championships played in bigger arenas. He has to work around which dates are available at places such as the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, where many track meets are already scheduled.

Last year, postponements knocked the state swimming championships three weeks later than originally planned.

"What makes it sort of difficult to have contingency plans for Mother Nature is you're not sure how it's going to be dealt to you," Warner said, "and so you sort of have some ideas in your head about how you can make things work out and reschedule your events, but you have to wait and see what it actually is that your dealt at this particular time to do that."

If schools are back in session by mid-week, this will be just a blip on the winter season schedule. Staying closed longer could force more cancellations. More county championships could be canceled and some basketball teams may have to give up non-league games to fit in league games.

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