By Caleb Christiansen
The chance to compete for the ultimate goal of going to state in a sport was denied to the Girls Cross Country Team at Lincoln High this season when their bus broke down on the way to the district competition in Norfolk.
“The bus broke down at roughly 2:15 or 2:30,” LHS Athletic Coordinator Richard Bollen said. “At that point Coach Dawson contacted [LHS Athletic Director Pat] Gatzemeyer.”
Another bus was sent out to where the team sat stranded. “We then called the meet director and the meet was to be set back a half hour, to 4:30,” Bollen said. “Our girls warmed up and were changing their shoes so I’m assuming if the gun went off at 4:30 they were ready to go two or three minutes before that.”
The girls’ team was late in arriving to the starting line and told they were not going to be allowed to compete in the biggest race of their year.
Apparently the time keeper’s watch was set five minutes fast and the girls did not have enough time to complete their warm up.
“It was completely unfair, we trained all season for the state competition,” said Marina Blum a junior on the Girls’ Varsity Cross Country team. “By our watches, we were on time. We were going to get there on time and then the race had started.” Blum said.
The boys’ team at least received a chance to compete though they too were cramped for time. “We had about 40 minutes to warm up, when every other team had at the least an hour,” said Parker Vicroy, a senior on the Boys’ Varsity Cross Country team.
“It took about a half hour to run the course at a jog, so we had almost no time to stretch. So we basically ran the course, got tired, and then started the race.” Vicroy said.
This is an overwhelmingly unfair set of circumstances. “It was not our fault that we were late,” Blum said.
The race director was aware of the fact that the bus Lincoln High was on had broken down. There is nothing the runners could have done about this unfortunate event.