AUGUSTA — The Maine Principals’ Association, the governing body for high school athletics in the state, announced Monday afternoon the cancelation of this year’s high school cross country state championships.
“The concern of bringing students together from all parts of Maine through state-wide travel as we are experiencing a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine,” said MPA Assistant Executive Director Mike Bisson. “The new mask mandate for student-athletes to wear masks throughout the competition. Many cross country runners have not been acclimatized to wearing the mask while competing in a high stakes race since the mandate took place last Friday. This is a concern for the health and safety of the student-athletes.”
The association received a great deal of feedback from school administrators and coaches regarding the championship meets, according to the release, and all concerns were heard.
“Please know that this was not a decision that was taken lightly, but one that the leadership at the MPA felt necessary to take based on a couple of major of concerns,” said Bisson, acknowledging those slated to participate will be disappointed in the event’s cancellation.
The Camden Hills girls cross country team and Oceanside’s Maria Protheroe had qualified for the state championships.