Editor's note update: The race has been moved to the roads and we've changed the title from "DI Northeast regional XC championships possibly going to the roads" Here is the email the NCAA sent out to the coaches.
The NCAA wrote:
After lengthy discussion and review of the conditions at the course in Buffalo, the NCAA Track and Field and Cross Country Committee has made the decision to move from Audubon Golf Course to a road course due to concerns with poor footing, ice and student-athlete safety.
Further information will be disseminated as soon as possible tomorrow morning (Thursday) with updates on parking, course maps, and various options for practice tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.
We appreciate your understanding as we work to ensure the most safe and fair regional championship experience for the student-athletes.
Update from Rojo:
Ok. Given that I used to coach at nearby Cornell, I've made some calls and know have a lot of information to share.
Here are the facts as I understand them.
1) The snow isn't an issue. 9 inches in Buffalo is nothing and the kids had school the next day.
2) The course was scheduled to be held on a golf course that is basically naturally very wet and almost a swamp if there is any rain. There were already huge puddles on the course before the snow which came on top of it. The problem is given it was 15 degrees last night there is a TON of ice and it's particularly bad at the start. One source told me that "if they ran the race on the xc course, you'd have 15 broken ankles in the first 200 meters."
If you wanted to run a high school meet at a park in town, no problem. The issue is this particular golf course and all of the ice.
3) The switch to the road race has led to some interesting developments. The decision only officially came out late last night. Many of the teams were already in Buffalo and hadn't brought their racing flats. Some are raiding the local running stores. Others are sending coaches back to try to get their flats (but imagine if they aren't all in the locker room, how do you get into kids dorms, etc?)
4) After talking to the people I did today, I'm convinced this is the right call. Any coaches that want to bitch and moan about the decision, here is what I'll tell you after having talked to some people. Please drive out to the course and try to run the first 400 meters without falling down.