(Race Start at the 2019 Legends Meet)
On Friday afternoon it was announced that the 2020 Legends Meet, originally scheduled for Saturday, October 10th at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, has been canceled.
The decision to shut down this year's edition of the meet follows a notice provided on Thursday by the Trumbull County Health District. This update confirmed that the local area had moved to 'Level Red' on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System relating to positive coronavirus cases, as was initially reported by WKBN First News 27.
The Legends Meet, a staple on Ohio's early October annual cross country calendar, contests middle school and high school races and it frequently welcomes teams from neighboring Pennsylvania. Typically one of Northeast Ohio's largest XC gatherings in terms of performance numbers, the 2019 event saw 1,973 runners cross the finish line.
Prior to its cancellation, meet management indicated that a number of changes were to be instituted this year, including the usage of wave starts and the cancellation of the popular Legends Ceremony, where a selection of stakeholders, who have had significant impacts in the cross country community, are honored.
MileSplit Ohio reached out to meet director, Ted Rupe for more context on the decision.
"There have been a number of Covid infections detected in several area schools this last week that have resulted in both closures and quarantines."
"This resulted in the three adjacent counties of Trumbull, Portage and Mahoning to be moved into the red public emergency category that places more stringent mandates on public gatherings."
"The Legends Meet was a victim of these circumstances. I am distraught about the situation, but realize that sacrifices must be made to continue to move this cross country season forward and still keep the runners, coaches and fans safe."
-- Ted Rupe