LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock ISD found a way to hold a virtual track meet on Twitter this week, inviting other schools to record and post their results on social media.
For more than 50 years, the Lubbock Invitational has brought in some of the best prep sports athletes to the South Plains, but with Spring sports canceled due to the Coronavirus, the director of athletics of Lubbock ISD, Mike Meeks and a mentor came up with a plan to help the event go on as planned.
Meeks said, "Just an opportunity to create that hope alive for kids that we will get to compete again. And that's our plan right now. We want them to still continue to train and think about competition, keep it on their mind, and be ready when we're allowed to play again."
After a conversation about the idea, Meeks instantly put the plan into motion to host a virtual track meet on Twitter. The Athletics Lubbock ISD (@AthleticsLISD) Twitter account tweeted out instructions on how to join the virtual track meet Thursday and a day later, the submissions started to flow in.
"I hope everybody just sees it as an opportunity to take a mental break. It's been a long week. Just take a mental break and have a little fun with it. That's really the goal," said Meeks.
To keep the standard format of the track meet going, the virtual event was split into two days with field submissions being taken on Friday, and running events coming in on Saturday.
"I don't know if running a virtual track meet is going to give us any kind of normalcy," he said. "But for me it's understanding the situation. We want to get back on the court, the field, the track as quick as we can, but it's just taking that mental break and trying to have a little fun with it. And try not to spend all of our time worrying so much."
Meeks said he feels bad for all the athletes who are missing out on their season and hopes to gain some exposure for the kids who may need it most.
"I want our kids in our area - our message would be just to, to take heed to the situation," he said. "Understand it, know that it's a bit bigger than you, but at the same time we have an opportunity to take a break and engage ourselves maybe in social media a little bit. And create a little exposure and who knows there may be a coach out there in college who may be looking for athletes and possibly, might find you."
He said not much planning went into the idea, so some of the details are still being ironed out even as the event comes to an end.