Lipinsky helps create CC events

Tuesday races in the Suburban League brought teams from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties together at different sites.

The COVID-19 pandemic nixed that from existence, just like many sports events this calendar year.

Mark Lipinsky of Second Sole Timing wanted to give a glimmer of hope to area distance runners. Cross country needed to happen this year, despite the utter chaos of 2020.

He said he got approval last week from the Mahoning County Health Board to be able to hold meets in Mahoning County.

Letters are going out to all athletic directors in Mahoning County. Lipinsky said he had meetings with the MCHB about larger events.

“We’re hoping we can get approval and hold some other events as well,” he said. “We’re going to continue to create and be positive even in these difficult times.”

Second Sole Timing is working with Canfield, Boardman, Austintown Fitch and Poland High Schools to hold events at the Canfield Fairgrounds, Boardman High School, Austintown Township Park and Poland Township Park.

Lipinsky said it will be called the Mahoning County Cross Country Series.

There will be five weeks of regular races on Tuesdays for high schools and Wednesday for middle schools.

There will be a championship to replace the Suburban League Championship that would’ve been held at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

“Currently with limited space and limited participation that we can allow, we’re going to start with Mahoning County schools because that’s where we’re operating and what the guidelines are set for,” Lipinsky said. “If for some reason we have additional space available, we’ll reach out to other counties — Columbiana and Trumbull — to see if they’re interested in participaing as well.”

How many people can run at an event?

“It’s based on the location,” Lipinsky said. “The (Ohio High School Athletic Association) guidelines state you can have 10 runners, your socially acceptable number of runners, to have in one space together in a 10-by-10 box. Normally it would be in a 6-foot box. You can have 10 runners from that team in one area. There’s 6 feet of space in between boxes. Based on the spacing guidelines, we’re going to line up as many teams as we can. It’s going to be based on the length of the starting line at each location. At Boardman, we can start 16 teams or 10 runners at a time. We’re planning to do two heats of boys, two heats of girls.

“We’re trying to accommodate as many kids as we can to let them have as normal as season as possible.”


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