Tomahawk Relays Next Week Phipps tabbed honorary ref

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Tomahawk Relays is having a big birthday party.

The tradition rich track and field spectacle will celebrate its 75th running of the classic on Thursday and Friday. To clarify, there have been years when weather forced cancellation of the meet, but this is the 75th year the track classic has been on the schedule.

Records available indicate the meet was not run seven times in its illustrious history due to implement weather.

More recently, last spring, a blinding spring blizzard forced its cancellation.

But this is a new year and spring and sprung. So next week, the highly respected Tomahawk Relays classic returns to the track on Thursday and Friday with 37 teams scheduled to compete. Area track fans are encouraged to attend.

The long term weather forecast has Thursday’s high at 48 degrees with partly cloudy skies and northwest winds at 15 to 20 mph, while Friday’s outlooks calls for sunshine, 52 degrees and northwest winds at 5 to 10 mph. Keep your fingers crossed.

The boys will compete on Thursday starting at 5p.m. with eight teams in Class 2A and 10 teams in the Class 1A field. Then on Friday, it’s the girls turn as they too begin at 5p.m. with eight Class 2A teams and 11 Class 1A squads.

The Tomahawk Relays, which began in 1944, has always been considered one of the premier track and field events in Northwest Iowa. And the simple fact the meet is 75 years old, makes this year’s meet extra special.

This year’s Honorary Referee is longtime Cherokee coach, activities director, teacher, mentor and administrator, Neil Phipps. The popular Phipps, now retired, and the Tomahawk Royalty will be introduced both days of the meet prior to the start of finals.

Teams participating in this year’s event are:

Class 2A Boys - Spencer, Estherville-Lincoln Central, LeMars, Spirit Lake, MOC-FV, OABCIG, Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central and Sioux City Heelan.

Class 1A Boys - MMCRU, Central Lyon, Sioux Central, South O’Brien, Ridge View, Cherokee, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Alta-Aurelia, Newell-Fonda and Lawton-Bronson.

Class 2A Girls - Spencer, E-LC, LeMars, Spirit Lake, MOC-FV, OABCIG, Heelan and Cherokee.

Class 1A Girls - MMCRU, Central Lyon, South O’Brien, Ridge View, HMS, Alta-Aurelia, PAC-LM, Sioux Central, Emmetsburg and Lawton-Bronson.

According to records, the Tomahawk Relays was a boys’ only event until 1991 when it became coed. Also, prior to that, the meet was always held on a Saturday and at its peak featured 60-plus teams taking part in the spring classic.

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