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Safety was top priority in rescheduling events

Better safe than sorry.

That's the message from local coaches and administrators about the decision to postpone, reschedule and delay events across the Island because of snow. Forecasters predicted the chance of up to a half-foot of snow falling mainly in the morning hours Saturday. But though a few flurries materialized, the snow never accumulated, and the estimates were reduced to just an inch at most by Saturday afternoon.

Todd Heimer, executive director of Section VIII, Nassau's governing body, said safety had to be the top priority.

"If it takes a turn and we get hammered, then it makes sense," Heimer said Friday. "But even if we get a dusting and we err on the side of caution, that's fine with me."

Heimer said transportation concerns in certain districts motivated Section VIII to move the events.

"We had two districts which said, 'we're not putting our kids on the road tomorrow,' " he said Friday. "And the other thing is that it behooves us to be cautious and put these contests on another date. I do know that logistically, it can be difficult, but we have sports coordinators in those sports that can do the best thing for the interest of the whole county."

Three wrestling qualifiers in Nassau for the county tournament were moved. The Long Beach qualifier starts at 10 a.m. Sunday, the Mepham qualifier is at 3 p.m. Monday and the Massapequa qualifier is at 4 p.m. Monday. Weigh-in at each qualifier begins two hours before the scheduled start time. The six league championships in Suffolk were held Saturday, but delayed two hours.

The Nassau fencing team championship was rescheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday at Great Neck South. The Suffolk fencing championships were held Saturday at Whitman, but moved back two hours.

The Suffolk boys and girls bowling championships were postponed until 10 a.m. Monday at Sayville Lanes and the individual bowling tournament in Nassau was rescheduled for Tuesday at a time to be determined.

Nassau postponed the Class A boys and girls track championship and the event has not yet been rescheduled.

The Nassau swimming championships had originally scheduled qualifying heats for Friday, but instead, officials took the top regular-season times to seed swimmers and held the championship meet full event Friday.

"All the coaches were polled and we couldn't get the Nassau Aquatic Center until next week when the kids were on vacation," Long Beach coach Woody Davis said, explaining the thought process behind the decision. Davis said holding the championship early had an impact on the swimmers.

"I'm sure there was a difference, because what it does is it eliminates the possibility of a second chance to make the state qualifying times," he said. "I don't think the overall results would have been different, but it gives kids a second chance at qualifying."

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