COLUMBUS, Ohio –With the health and safety of everyone involved as the top concern and due to the large size of the event, the Ohio High School Athletic Association Early Season Cross Country Invitational, scheduled for August 15 at Fortress Obetz and Memorial Park in Southeast Columbus, has been cancelled. The OHSAA’s decision was made Wednesday.
“We are very disappointed that the event is cancelled and understand that there will be frustrations from our student-athletes, but we have to put safety first,” said Bob Goldring, OHSAA Interim Executive Director. “We are meticulously moving forward with reopening our seasons for competition and appreciate the guidance of the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health. We also appreciate the cooperation of Fortress Obetz and we look forward to conducting our state championships there November 7.”
Sparked by additional interest from many schools since the course is the new home of the OHSAA cross country state championships, the OHSAA began putting schools on the wait list in mid-July and adjusted the schedule, race formats and the number of runners in each race in the hopes of providing the opportunity to participate to more schools. A decision had not yet been made regarding spectators.
Cross country events can still proceed around the state beginning August 24, as the sport of cross country has been designated as a low-contact sport by the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health. The OHSAA currently recommends smaller cross country events be held.