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Runner, on verge of record, stopped with one lap left

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 Runner, on verge of record, stopped with one lap left
Unread 4 years agoclass of '07 - away - #1
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Talk about being stopped in your tracks ...

Joe Rosa, one of the top high school distance runners in the country, appeared to be on his way to breaking the New Jersey state record in the 3,200-meter run with a time worthy of being on the all-time national list when he was literally forced off the track by meet officials with one lap to go due to weather concerns.

Officials with the New Jersey Interscholastic State Athletic a.ssociation halted the eight-lap race as Rosa was preparing for his final lap, because lightning had been detected in the area. The meet was being held in Old Bridge, N.J.

NJSIAA officials made it clear: Rules dictate all events are halted and the competitors and fans must immediately leave the area if lightning is detected.

"I have four spotters looking in every direction and no one detected lightning or thunder in the area when the race started," meet director Don Danser told the Star-Ledger. "But as soon as the lightning and thunder came, we have to stop the meet under the National Track and Field Rules. It's a safety issue. We have fans in aluminum bleachers with lightning overhead. We had to evacuate right away."

The decision, however, did not sit well with Rosa, his family (including twin brother Jim who was in second at the time), his coaches and others who questioned why they couldn't run one more lap - or why the race was allowed to start in the first place.

"I guess it's a rule, but we had one lap to go," Jim Rosa said. "We should have been able to just finish it."

His father, Larry, was stunned.

"The race should never have been started," he said. "Once it started it should have been completed. This is just atrocious. My boys are running one of the biggest races of their lives and this is how it ends. I just can't believe it."

Neither can his coach.

"This is just bizarre," Brian Gould said. "I don't even know what to say. I just can't believe this actually happened." (See it happen on video below.)

Kristin Kline, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Mt. Holly, N.J., just a few miles from where the meet was taking place, said the NJSIAA did the right thing.

"If lightning was sighted, they definitely made the right call," she said. "As soon as you see it, that's when you need to take shelter. You can't say, 'We'll be OK for another five minutes.' That's not a safe thing to do.

"As soon as you see lightning, it is close enough to you to strike the area where you are," she said. "The storm clouds could be 20 miles away and the storm may not have reached your area but it's still possible for the lightning to strike where you are."

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3 comments for "Runner, on verge of record, stopped with one lap left"

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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #2
yaleRULES 11 heat pts11 space
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As a competitor that fu*kin sucks but rules are rules. If the weather was SERIOUSLY that bad, i dont have anything against it. Imagine if a rain delay happened during the 8th or 9th inning of a perfect game.. damn
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #3
casper 1 heat pts space
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take more time to get in doors then it does to keep runnin that lap

i understand rules r rules, but to do that to a kid is fu*ked up
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Unread 4 years agoclass of '04 - away - #4
regularjoe 30 heat pts30 space
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Sucks for him, but it was the right thing to do.
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