The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 4, 2012

Harold Raker's Track & field column: Some bad, some good

The postseason is soon upon us and it seems like a good time to talk about one good idea and one bad one (or so it seems).

First, as those good-news, bad-news jokes always go, the good news: After four years, the folks running the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference, or at least those dealing with track and field, have agreed to hold an official PHAC meet, rather than the faux conference meet which has been known as the "Coaches Invitational."

We (myself and writers covering other sports) have long advocated that the PHAC hold conference tournaments as is done, quite successfully, in the Schuylkill League. Our suggestions, as most do, continued to fall on deaf ears.

So, in fairness, I must congratulate the conference committee(s) for this move. The meet will be held next Saturday at Shikellamy, with both individual and overall boys and girls team champions recognized, just like the old days of the Susquehanna Valley and Central Susquehanna conferences.

PHAC track and field chairman Greg Sacavage of Mount Carmel said that this meet is being used an experiment with the idea of possibly holding similar championships in other sports. He said that there is a chance that basketball could be the next sport in line, and possibly as soon as the next season.

That sound you hear is me (and others) applauding. Let's hope it works out that way.

Oh, did I mention bad news?

I will preface it by saying that what initially was really bad news is now slightly better since a change was made early this week.

I am talking about the idea of holding all of the district meets on one day (a Saturday) in Athens (and likely at Shikellamy or Selinsgrove next season).

At least there has been one favorable change. According to meet director Mark Heckel, the schedule of events for that long day in Athens, which originally showed the final track event set for 8 p.m., has been moved up to 4:50. Thank goodness for little favors.

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