Rain could spoil state events

By Steve Sell
May 27, 2015

Even the farmers, God bless ‘em, have to be waving the white flag by now.

Because of one of the wettest months of May on record, and looking at the forecast for the next several days, there’s a good chance many of the state championship events scheduled for Thursday through Saturday are going to be threatened.

McPherson is the site of one of those events, the Class 4A Girls Soccer Final Four at McPherson Stadium Friday and Saturday, hosted by McPherson College.

Soccer is somewhat different though. Unless there is lightning in the air, it’s play on. McPherson Stadium has an artificial surface and because of the drainage system the water basically goes right through. Of course, if the rain comes down so hard that it effects how the game is played, I’m sure discretion will be the better part of valor.

More of a concern are the state baseball and softball tournaments at the various venues around the state that are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

McPherson High’s baseball team will be at Salina, Inman’s at Great Bend and Moundridge’s softball team will be at Pratt.

Let’s face it though, and even with tarps on the infield, the recent inundation has left the fields waterlogged and swollen. The outfields still have standing water and it won’t take much more rain to turn them back into rivers.

Then you have the granddaddy of them all, the Kansas State Track and Field Championships at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.

This is the largest state-sponsored event in Kansas. Classes 6-1A gather and it generally draws anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000, depending — of course — on the weather.

You really don’t want a lot of delays since there are so many events to complete. Meet officials do an amazing job of keeping things on schedule, but again, you have to consider the safety of the fans and spectators. It could be a very long weekend at Cessna.

The rain already has hampered one state event. McPherson’s Turkey Creek was to have hosted the Class 4A State Golf Tournament on Tuesday, but it was pushed back to today. I was at the course on Tuesday and while they could have played, I think it was a good call to give the course a chance to somewhat dry out. You don’t want the course to be torn up for the sake of getting the tournament in. 

Today has been perfect weather-wise, though at the time of this writing there are some storm clouds gathering in the West. Whether they’ll get here in time to cause a delay is up in the air, but hopefully they’ll hold off.

I know we needed the rain, but I think the moisture of the last couple of weeks should hold us over for a while. As for me, I’m ready for some dry weather. Bring on the heat.