Great Southwest Joins The Long List Of Canceled Meets

Athletes looking forward to trekking south in June will have to wait...

The 2020 edition of the Great Southwest Classic won't be getting out of the blocks this year, as it's joined the long list of canceled big meets due to COVID-19. 

"Due to COVID-19 concerns the University of New Mexico is not allowing use of their facilities through June 30 with the possibility of extending that date," meet director Fred Polich stated in a release. "After talking with others around the country, very many facilities are not allowing use, because of liabilities."

Previously scheduled for the first weekend in June, Great Southwest has been one of the more prestigious track and field invitationals in the southwest region over the past few years.

"We were trying to be optimistic last month, but we understand that this is the best decision for all the safety concerns for everyone involved," Polich said. "Bringing in athletes, coaches, parents, selection chairmen and others from at least half of the states around the country just doesn't seem right at this time."

The meet has drawn some of the best athletes in the region to Albuquerque, New Mexico following the conclusion of the regular season.

Invitation to the meet earned an athlete a coveted state jersey, which they could wear with pride. 

Two years ago Anna Hall set the national high school record in the heptathlon at the meet, and just last year Jan'Taijah Ford dropped a US No. 1 51.57 in the 400, while Briana Williams ran an 11.02 in the 100.

"It is truly heartbreaking knowing that most high school athletes will not have a spring season and most will miss out on their State Championships," Polich said. "The seniors especially is a hard pill to swallow."