Area track coaches find themselves staring into the sky or at their local weather forecasters, asking the same question: "Can we please get a little nice weather?"
After past weeks of frigid temperatures and icy winds, local Class C track schools hope Saturday will hold a spate of warm weather they are looking for at the annual Jason Groseclose Invitational track meet at Havre Middle School.
The meet, which was to feature all the District 9C schools along with Chester and Chinook, suddenly got a little smaller, according to Blue Sky/J-I head coach Bill Mulvaney.
Big Sandy pulled out of the meet because several athletes will be at the state music festival this weekend. Chinook also will not be there and Chester remains a question mark.
"I know (Chester head coach) Jim (Graham) has a few kids hurt and they might take the weekend to rest, but it's not for certain," Mulvaney said. "I also haven't heard from Hays-Lodge Pole yet."
If those teams are missing, that would leave the host Eagles along with KG, Turner, Rocky Boy and Box Elder competing.
Regardless of the number of teams, Mulvaney looks at it as another chance to get out on the track and compete, hopefully with good weather.
"It's going to help our conditioning and it's a fun way to do it," he said. "And most importantly, it's a way to prepare for the district track meet."
With the cold weather and cancelled meets, local athletes' conditioning has taken a hit, Mulvaney admitted.
"Conditioning-wise, we are not right where we want to be," Mulvaney said. "We just haven't had the time on the track with the weather and other things going on. You don't realize how much you miss."
Still, there should be plenty of good performances on Saturday.
Blue Sky/J-I is coming off a solid showing at the Cut Bank Invitational. The Eagles took just their upper classmen and had a good day, with Kaila Warren returning from a two-week hiatus to win the 110 hurdles. Alex Frey finished second in a very tough 800. The Eagles' underclassmen were at a smaller meet in Power, which the girls team won.
The meet will get under way at 9 a.m. with the field events, while the running events will begin at 9:30 a.m.