One of if not the biggest high school track meets in the country begins Thursday at Drake Stadium as the high school boys and girls meets combine for the first time.Mike Dick of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union says they have a great working relationship between the boys and girls unions and Drake University. He says the first time you do something is always the hardest, and he expects challenges to pop up, but he says it’s been fun to put the whole thing together. He says they have divided the first couple of days of competition into two sessions. The morning session will be the 4-A and 1-A classes and the afternoon the 2A and 3A.Dick says they hope that plan will alleviate some of the congestion in and around the stadium. He says they were worried about that because the crowd is doubling, but he says they hope that bringing them in sections will alleviate any problems.No decision has been made as to whether or not the combined meets will continue but Dicks says it is likely. He says it sounds like if they want to continue using Drake Stadium then they’ll probably have to have a coed meet. Drake is using what used to be the boys weekend to bid for some NCAA meets and that date might not be available.Dave Anderson heads up the event for the Iowa High School Athletic Association. He says both will have at least 25-hundred competitors and with the coaches and fans he is expecting large crowds. Both the girls and boys meets drew more than six thousand fans when they had their own weekend. Anderson says the schedule was tough to put together and anticipates some adjustments in the future. He says they have events they’re running prelims in that they don’t want to, and some he says they need prelims in and won’t have them. While many have been critical of the change Anderson believes it is something the competitors will enjoy. He says they had a lot of naysayers when they went to the coed district meets, but he says they’ve had positive comments on the change.
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