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NSAA approves four-day format for Nebraska state track meet
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NSAA approves four-day format for Nebraska state track meet

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State track, 5.18

Jessica Gardner from Lincoln North Star pole vaults during the 2019 state track and field meet at Burke Stadium in Omaha. 

This year’s high school state track meet at Omaha Burke Stadium will be held over four days instead of the traditional Friday-Saturday dates.

The Nebraska School Activities Association board Wednesday approved the format, for 2021 only, that will have classes A and D competing on May 19-20, followed by classes B and C on May 21-22.

Like for volleyball, wrestling and basketball, track is getting an expanded meet for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic. Volleyball in Lincoln and wrestling in Omaha had a day added to their state competition, basketball in Lincoln two days.

There are expected to be no restrictions on attendance, although masks are likely to be required. The city of Omaha’s current mask mandate extends through May 25, after the meet is over.

The NSAA and Omaha Public Schools, which owns the stadium at 120th Street and West Dodge Road, agreed to the meet changes.

“To get the people in we need to get in, we're going to have to do something like that.”

Meet director Nate Neuhaus from the NSAA said that on May 19-20, Class D will run from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Class A from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On May 21-22, Class C will have the 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. slot and Class B the 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. slot.

Neuhaus said the timetable will allow for 90 minutes of field event competition daily without overlap with running events. The gold-medal presentations could have to wait for a later time.

The state meet has been held at Burke since 1972 for boys and has been a combined boys-girls meet since 1981.

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