E.A. Sports Today

Disney trip dashed

Pleasant Valley girls denied trip to Disney as threat of Hurricane Matthew forces officials to cancel Disney Cross Country Classic

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The Pleasant Valley girls cross country team has been looking forward to the Disney Cross Country Classic since the day coach Brad Hood promised it to them if they won the state championship.

But not even the Lady Raiders can outrun Mother Nature.

At about 3:45 this afternoon, Hood received an email from race officials canceling the event due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. Their race was scheduled for Friday, right in the window the storm was expected to impact the Orlando area. It will not be rescheduled.

“You can’t help the weather,” Hood said. “It’s making a turn right now, making a bee-line right to Orlando. You may not be able to go there for a month.

“They’re bummed. They’ve been looking forward to this for a year. I’m just glad they made a decision and not drag it out and we’d drive down there into the mess.”

Understandably, the girls were “all really upset,” freshman Emma Hood said.

“Most of the girls were crying,” she said. “We knew there was a hurricane, but we were watching the news all week to make sure we could go today, but it just changed today.”

The team will receive the applicable refunds. The Lady Raiders will now run closer to home this weekend, joining the boys team in the Bullfrog Classic at St. Clair County.

While the Disney race won’t be rescheduled, the girls may still find their way to the Magic Kingdom. Hood said they’re looking for an open 5K or a high school invitational near the resort area “in the next couple weeks” to give the girls their visit to the theme parks.

“That’s not completely terrible,” Emma Hood said.

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