The District 2 Swimming Championships will have a new home this season.
During a teleconference Thursday afternoon, the District 2 Committee approved a motion to move the championships to Delaware Valley High School in Milford to help conduct the event in person while adhering to
COVID-19 guidelines for indoor activities.
Normally, the meets are held at the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre, a public facility that withdrew from hosting this year’s event because of the pandemic. The committee also considered an offer from Keystone Aquatics Center to host the event at its facility in Carlisle.
“We searched throughout the entire district for facilities that would be able to host us,” District 2 swimming chairman Fred Barletta told the committee. “There were a few schools that showed interest in it and we had to know more of the details. In the end, there was only one school that met the criteria of what our needs are to run a meet of that magnitude.
“While we are aware there are drawbacks because it is not centrally located, that became a nonissue when we looked at some of the other alternatives.”
The championships will be a two-day meet with a morning and evening session Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7. Class 2A will compete in the morning; Class 3A in the evening. If the championships are impacted or postponed because of weather, a virtual meet will be held the Monday prior to the PIAA district deadline date.
There will be a limit of 18 qualifiers for each event because Delaware Valley is a six-lane venue and it would aid in maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Delaware Valley is closing off its school, will use the all-call system for address announcements, and athletes and coaches will have access to the main gymnasium, an auxiliary gymnasium and a spacious cafeteria as staging areas.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, however, spectators will not be permitted at the venue.
Members of the Committee who visited the facility raved about the cooperation from the school’s leadership in meeting the needs of the meet.
“I think it is an extraordinary facility,” said District 2 Committee member Bill King, who visited the campus. “The one thing I really liked was the staging areas. It gives teams the ability to social distance and set up and stay in touch with what is going on in the meet. The locker room facilities are outstanding and much larger than the CYC.”
When speculation swirled that the championships might be canceled, Delaware Valley superintendent John Bell and coach Chelsea Shatt put the wheels in motion to propose their facility play host to save the event.
“This came from my coach when she found out that there was a possibility that we wouldn’t have a meet,” Delaware Valley coach athletic director Chris Ross said. “She wanted, especially her seniors to participate in districts.”
Meanwhile, the District 2 Diving Championships, which are scheduled for Feb. 27, will remain at the Wyoming Valley CYC because of the limited number of athletes who compete.
The District 2 individual championship tournament, scheduled for Feb. 19-20, still does not have a venue, District 2 wrestling chairman Jay Starnes said.
However, officials to hope to have that rectified by Monday, District 2 chairman Frank Majikes said.
Qualifying matches will need to be held in certain weight classes to reduce the field to the allowable number of eight participants for the championship tournament.
District 2 team championships remains a question for the committee, one that will be answered in the near future.
Joby Fawcett has covered high school sports — including football, girls and boys volleyball, girls and boys tennis, girls and boys swimming, boys basketball, girls and boys track and field, and girls and boys lacrosse — for 22 years. The High School Sports Blog offers deeper insights plus statistical and historical information for fans and features photos, videos and graphics along with Top 5 polls for tennis and volleyball. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5367; @sportsTT