Because of the way the calendar set up in 2016, with Easter falling on the last weekend in March, and April having five Saturdays, Tim Cook Invitational meet director Bob Walker had a decision to make.
The track & field meet has typically been held the last Saturday in March, but Walker felt having it on Easter weekend wasn't the best idea. He knew the Bruce Dallas Invitational at Cumberland Valley was the first Saturday in April and the Shippensburg U. Invitational was the fourth. So he contacted the Pan-Ram meet director and asked him if he wanted to pick which date he wanted and Walker would take the other.
The sun was shining on Walker.
The Pan-Ram director chose last Saturday (remember that one: with snow flying?) and had to cancel the event. Now the Cook is up this Saturday at Trojan Stadium, with temperatures expected to approach 70 and the sun out bright.
Walker said, "We'll be going back to the last Saturday in March for at least the next two years - you want to be known for having the meet the same time every year. And that kind of day could happen to us when we'd have to cancel because of the weather. But we lucked out this time."
The Cook, which begins at 10 a.m. and runs until about 4 p.m., expects to have 23 teams competing, including local squads Chambersburg, Greencastle-Antrim, Shippensburg, Wayensboro, Mercersburg Academy and McConnellsburg. Altoona has entered for the first time and Mifflin County and Williamsport will each bring 66-person teams.
"I think some meet records should fall since the weather will be so nice," Walker said. "We have 747 athletes registered. I think we got a few more since the Pan-Ram was canceled, because teams changed their plans."
Chambersburg girls coach Chris Monheim said, "We're excited to not be dealing with the cold, the rain or the wind. It should give us an opportunity to get some postseason qualifying chances."
Walker is pumped about the T-shirt being sold this year. Instead of having sponsors or the list of participating teams listed on it, it will have the phrase "Pain is temporary; pride is forever" on the back. That was one of the favorite sayings of Tim Cook, the longtime Trojan girls coach the meet is named after.
"We have quite a few kids who should do well," Monheim said. "We've had some good performances already this year without having good weather. And we have some young kids who will get their first chance in an invitational, and they might make some noise."
COLONIAL SHOWDOWN: It appears that the Mid Penn Colonial Division boys tennis crown could come down to what happens Friday when East Pennsboro visits James Buchanan for a 3:30 match.
The Panthers are 8-1 in the division and the Rockets are 7-1. JB won the first match between these teams on the road, 3-2, but suffered a loss to Palmyra (7-2) earlier this week. If the Rockets win, they'll be heavily favored in the rest of their three division matches. East Penn still has to play Palmyra on the road, so if the Panthers win Friday and lose to the Cougars, it could end in a three-way tie.
In JB's first match vs. Palmyra, it won three three-set matches and won 4-1. When the Cougars beat the Rockets on Monday, they took a trio of three-set matches and won 4-1.
SITTING ON TOP: The Chambersburg boys volleyball team has played only three of 10 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division matches, but is is sitting alone in first place with a 3-0 record.
State College and Central Dauphin are each 2-1, and both of their losses have come at the hands of the Trojans. Next week is a big one for Chambersburg - it hosts Cumberland Valley on Tuesday at 6 and then travels to State College on Thursday.