Maine's Largest one day high school sporting event will look different this fall according to an email sent from one of the meet's founders Glendon Rand on Monday afternoon.
The Maine Festival of Champions, known to many as FOC is scheduled to take place at the Troy Howard Middle School on Saturday October 3rd. The Maine XC season is scheduled to start on Tuesday September 8th according to details released from the Maine Prinicipal's Association last week. With the late start to the season athletes may only have a meet or two under their belts before FOC this year.
A year ago 1620 harriers crossed the finish line, 989 for the boys and 631 for the girls. Falmouth's Sofie Matson set a new meet record of 17:35.91 on the girls side, while Brunswick's Will Shaughnessy was the boys winner running 15:32.86. Expect a much smaller meet in 2020 with schools being limited to ten runners per gender and those who can run under 30 minutes for a 5k.
Rand's second bullet point was that no Spectators will be allowed only coaches and those athletes running in the meet.
The meet which is typically open to sixty-five Maine schools, and ten out of state schools figures to have fewer competing in 2020 as well.
Even with the limit of ten athletes per school Rand isn't sure those restrictions would be enough to have all 65 schools from Maine compete in the meet. The only given is the twelve schools that have competed in the meet from it's inception. (Bangor, Belfast, Brewer, Bucksport, Caribou, Ellsworth, George Stevens Academy, Hampden Academy, Mt Desert Island, Old Town, Orono and Presque Isle.)
Currently Rand is thinking that if they have to further limit competitors that the would invite individuals and schools that are most competitive competitive on a state-wide level. His hope is to have the final list of invited team available by August 17th.
The Scott Laliberte Invitational which is typically held the last week of August at Cony High School has been canceled for 2020 according to meet director Shaw Totman. The Hoka Southern Maine Classic still plans to be held in some format according to an email from Jason Tanguay.