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Attendance restrictions lifted for state track and field
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PREP TRACK & FIELD

Attendance restrictions lifted for state track and field

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Track qualifying meet at Northwood-Kensett-Witt.jpg

St. Ansgar's Riley Witt runs the 3,200-meter un at the Class 1A state qualifying track meet in Northwood on Thursday.

Track and field fans, rejoice.

This week's co-ed state meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines will be open to everyone.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) put out a release on Tuesday that the attendance limits – originally slated for about 20 percent capacity – have been removed and the blue oval could see full capacity.

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Tickets go on sale at noon Tuesday. Initially, each state qualifier was given two tickets to give to family members or friends.

“Throughout the pandemic, our number one priority for hosting athletic events has been the safety of our athletes, staff, spectators, and our community. In doing so, we have followed guidance from the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Polk County Health Department, the NCAA, and our own administration,” Drake University athletic director Brian Hardin said in the release. “Recently released CDC guidelines encouraged us to consult with these partners and revisit stadium capacity. We look forward to once again welcoming the best high school athletes our state has to offer to compete on the world-famous Blue Oval in front of all their family and friends who wish to attend.”

The newest guidelines unveiled by the CDC last week said that fully vaccinated individuals can be outside in most settings with no masks. The IHSAA stated that masks are strongly encouraged for spectators. 

There will be an on-site vaccination clinic on the concourse at Drake Stadium. Per the release, "The Pfizer vaccine will be administered by members of Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Polk County Health Department. Anyone age 12 or older wishing to receive a vaccination will be able to do so."

The schedule remains unchanged. Class 2A and 3A will go in the morning sessions, while 1A, 4A and wheelchair events will go in the later sessions. Saturday's finals remain split.

Zach Martin is a sports reporter for the Globe Gazette. Follow him on Twitter at @Zach_Martin95. 

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