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After seeing a drop to only 10 high school track and field teams in 2011, the organizers of the Herb Schmidt Relays (formerly the Suburban Relays) knew that changes needed to be made.

Because of factors such as proms and SATs, the early May date was keeping some participants away. The fact that there wasn't a good way to attain times that would qualify for districts within the all-relay format, was also problematic.

So the event has been moved up to April 21, at York Suburban. The new individual race times will combine with a teammate's time from their respective school for their relay score. And, because they are run individually those times may be used for qualifying.

There will also be the standard relay events, the 4 X 800, 4 X 400 and 4 X 100. There is no change in the field events, where distances may be submitted for qualifying, but combine with a teammates for an aggregate "relay" score.

"This way we still keep the integrity of the relays," said Herb Schmidt, who founded the relays, which were named after him in 2010, more than 50 years ago.

On Friday (Apr 6), Schmidt said that 17 high school and 12 junior high teams had signed up for the relays, representing a nice increase from a year ago.

Like previous years, awards will be broken down in big and small high schools, however for the first time, there will be two division at the junior high level.

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