DATE: Jan. 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Josh Jordan, 208-780-7228, Josh.Jordan@Simplot.com
Among Rising Case Counts, Simplot Games Cancels 2022 Meet
Pocatello, ID For the second consecutive year, the Simplot Games has had to cancel its annual high school track and field event because of COVID-19. Organizers and officials at Idaho State had hoped to host this years event Feb. 17-19 at Holt Arena in Pocatello, but both parties agreed that recent increases in case counts and local healthcare systems nearing their capacity made the difficult decision necessary.
We are saddened to make this announcement, but we know it is the right thing to do for participating student athletes, their schools and our venue at Idaho State, said Kevin Browning, chairman of the Simplot Games Board of Directors. We know the positive impact this event has on the athletes and the broader Pocatello community and we had high hopes for our return to the track this year. However, the significant increase in recent cases because of the Omicron variant, and our unwavering commitment to the health and safety of everyone involved has made hosting this years event infeasible.
The Simplot Games have been one of the premier high school indoor track and field events in North America for more than 40 years. The annual event draws more than 2,200 athletes from around the country as well as Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
Organizers of the Simplot Games are still planning how they can bring positive experiences to track and field athletes without hosting this years games. Potential events include a virtual camp with former Olympians discussing tactics and training tips for overcoming adversity in life and on the track. Organizers also point to the Dick Fosbury Simplot Games Track Camp that the famous Olympian still plans to host later this year at Idaho State as an avenue for regional athletes to gain valuable experience.
We know that nothing will replace the Simplot Games, but we feel like theres still an opportunity to have a positive impact on the young people who would have participated, Lisa Woodland, Simplot Games Executive Director said. With so many variables going on at schools and with sports, we feel its important to try and bring some consistency and enjoyment where we can.
The Simplot Games Board of Directors is already making plans for the 2023 event.