Rain delays WIAA Championships for second day in a row - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Rain delays WIAA Championships for second day in a row

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Rain, thunder and lightening shut down Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex for the second time in two days, delaying the WIAA Track and Field Championships for almost six hours.

On-Site Coordinator Josh Buchholtz said crews evacuated 10,000 people from the stadium area in just 27 minutes.

He said it's not uncommon to evacuate during inclement weather.

"We've had these happen before," Buchholtz said. "There have been times where, on a day like today, we've actually evacuated the stadium multiple times. We thought when we made the first decision to evacuate, instead of making that second decision right away, we just said, 'Let's just keep them out,' then that way people are out. We don't have to worry about bringing them back in."

One coach was injured when evacuating, according to Buchholtz. He said one of the tents on the north side of the field blew over and hit the coach.

Tri-State ambulance took him/her to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The coach's name has not yet been released.

Because of the rain relay, many people who traveled to La Crosse for Friday and Saturday's meets will now need to stay an extra night.

Glenn Schultz traveled from Racine. He and his family are staying at a hotel in Winona and he said finding an extra room for the night is no easy feat.

"We tried getting kind of a backup plan room for tonight and that didn't happen. (Winona has) a triathlon tomorrow so every hotel I called in Winona is booked," Schultz said.

Schultz said if he needs to stay the night, he'll look for a hotel room in La Crosse.

The Office of Residential Life on the UW-La Crosse campus said because of all the weather delays, coaches and athletes who stayed in the dorms will be allowed to stay overnight Saturday free of charge.

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