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Cross country meet between local schools canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Cross country meet between local schools canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Leading The Pack

In this Sept. 15, 2018, file photo a group of Flagstaff High School runners took an early lead during the Four Corners Invitational Cross Country meet at Buffalo Park.

Saturday's cross country meet between the four local Flagstaff high schools was canceled due to precautions stemming from a potential COVID-19 exposure, Flagstaff High School officials said Friday night.

"A member of our athletic community was exposed and they have gone into quarantine, but in the best interest of the meet we felt it was best to not run," Jeannine Brandel, Flagstaff athletic director, said Friday night. " ... I think we are following the recommended guidelines from (the) AIA and are doing the right thing for our community."

Brandel, who is also a member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board, did not want to specify any further details about the situation, noting privacy concerns.

According to the AIA's recommendations, in the event of an exposure or potential COVID-19 case the individual is advised to be tested and quarantine until test results come back. Anyone else who may have been exposed must also quarantine and watch for signs and symptoms.

It is currently unclear if the meet will be rescheduled or will stay outright canceled. Saturday's race was originally a fill-in for the annual Peak's Invitational, which was unable to be held due to the size of the event.

Instead, the race was essentially an earlier-than-normal city meet between Flagstaff, Coconino, Basis and Northland Prep at Buffalo Park. Precautions were put in place well beforehand, such as plans for staggered starts to avoid running in large packs, athletes were to wear masks and no fans were allowed to attend -- which for now is the normal for all high school sports in Flagstaff.

Brandel noted those precautions, but said it was best to cancel out of an "abundance of caution."

"We felt it best to cancel the meet at this time," Brandel said.

Lance Hartzler can be reached at 556-2251 or at Follow him on Twitter @lance_hartz.


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