While you’re out and about and having fun on this holiday weekend, the Danville and Burgin track teams are making their second trip to and from Ashland in six days — for a regional meet.
That’s right, a regional meet. In the world of high school track and field, teams take all sorts of strange road trips to reach the 18 regional meets in the three classes. And one of the regions that makes the least sense of all is Class A, Region 4, where Danville resides.
The Admirals had to make two 155-mile roadies to Ashland Blazer for the meet that is hosted by Fairview and also includes Raceland, another Ashland-area team. The first trip was Monday for the preliminary session, the second was today for most of the event finals.
And they weren’t the only ones packing a lunch. Burgin is also in this region, along with teams from Carroll, Owen and Trimble counties, the farthest of which (Trimble) is 195 miles from Ashland according to Mapquest.com’s recommended route through Shelbyville and Lexington.
To be fair, Fairview and Raceland have made their share of trips in this direction for track and cross country regionals, and they have now hosted only one regional in each sport under the current alignment. But the blame lies not with Fairview, but with an alignment rivaled only in its strangeness by those who create legislative districts.
While schools like Danville and Trimble are slogging to Ashland, Model and Berea drove right by us for a meet at Green County, which somehow also includes both Cumberland and Cumberland County, two schools separated by 195 miles and a time-zone boundary. And a region comprised of Cincinnati-area schools that could have easily taken in the three northern Kentucky teams mentioned above remains a closed community.
There are other inequities as well, such as in a Class AAA region that stretches from Letcher County Central to Barren County, a distance of just over 200 miles.
In an age of $3-plus gas prices, there is no reason — none — that any two teams that are 200 miles apart should be in the same region. After all, the entire width of the state is only about 380 miles.
The good news is that the KHSAA has a chance to do better. The regions will be realigned this summer, so perhaps common sense will prevail and the map will look a little better next time around.