MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High officials were forced to notify the CIAC that they would be unable to host the state Class L and MM championship meets scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week because the resurfacing of the track could not be completed in time.
The project — funding came from a state grant — was originally to be done during April break, but according to Athletic Director Elisha De Jesus the weather didn’t cooperate.
“It was my understanding that if the weather didn’t permit, we could do it at the end of the year after graduation,” said De Jesus. “[After April break] I was told the grant had a deadline for the project to be completed by June 1. I was forced to find time in the month of May …. We had a little bit of a break between May 11 and May 19.”
The company — Dalton Construction, which installed the original track and was low-bidder — started the prep work on May 8 and MHS teams practiced and played around the prep work, said De Jesus.
“Unfortunately the weather has been horrible so it pushed back the initial work for a few days,” said De Jesus. “The painting of the lines and the top coat was supposed to start this Monday, but in order to start this work the track had to be completely dry and there hasn’t been a time this week that its been dry.”
De Jesus went on to say that after meeting with Tod Lorenzen, the Dalton representative, on numerous occasions, it became clear by Wednesday that there was no way the track could be completed in time for the meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
De Jesus then called the CIAC and Joel Cookson of the CIAC hastily rescheduled the meets to Manchester High School.
“Dalton was the low bid from three bids,” said Marco Gaylord of the Central Office, who confirmed the June 1 deadline. “I feel bad for the kids and the Booster Club.”
Middletown’s boys and girls track teams, both of which won the Central Connecticut Conference South Division championships on Wednesday, would have participated in the Class L meet on their home track. Both teams finished the dual meet season undefeated.
The Booster Club will take a big hit. Normally the two track meets generate approximately $8000 from concession stand sales, according to a source.
Graduation is slated to be held on the track June 16.