The 33-year-old Tacoma Invitational will take a year off.
Tacoma’s most prestigious track and field invite was canceled this year because of issues with officials and what Lincoln High School track and field coach Duane Lee said was miscommunication between him and the school district. Lee expects the meet to return next year.
The main complication was scheduling officials since the Tacoma school district is on spring break this week, said Lee, who said he has been a meet organizer the past 10 years but took over as the meet director last year.
“Instead of putting on a bad meet, I decided to cancel,” said Lee, whose Lincoln track team won the Tacoma Invitational last year before going on to eventually win the 3A state title at Star Track.
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The meet was originally the Lincoln Invitational when it began with eight schools in 1981 before being renamed the Tacoma Invitational in the late 1980s. There have been two previous years when the meet took a year off.
In 2015, the invite featured 33 schools and last year had 26. It normally falls on the second Saturday of April.
The Tacoma Invitational typically features all of the Tacoma public schools — Foss, Lincoln, Mount Tahoma, Wilson and Stadium — as well as others around the South Sound and Western Washington. It has annually been hosted at Lincoln Bowl, where the state championships were held from 1982-2002 before moving to Pasco and then Mount Tahoma.
Next year’s Tacoma Invitational is scheduled for April 14.
“Due to a few unforeseen circumstances and a couple of scheduling snafus and conflicts we have to cancel the event this year,” Lee wrote in an email on March 10 to schools that had lined up to compete. “I looked at many alternative ideas and suggestions to keep it available this year but just couldn’t get a few things to work for us.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677