One of the time-honored truths I've learned about covering sports in the Copper Country is that there's always one bad track meet a year.
By bad, I definitely don't mean poor in performance quality. More specifically, there's always one bad weather track meet.
I've only gotten in two this season, and sure enough, Monday's Copper Country Conference track meet probably qualified.
I had a few nicknames for the festivities, some of them unprintable, but the one I settled upon was the "No Remaining Make-Up Dates Invitational Brought To You By UnderArmour."
No, the athletic apparel maker didn't contribute anything financially. Frankly, that's OK, because I'd hate to see what they could do to the Lakes' classic blue-and-gold uniform set when football season rolls around. It was brought to you by UnderArmour because that was the only way some of the kids were avoiding frostbite.
Others went with the layered approach. Some of the distance runners were taking off sweatshirts mid-race. It looked like one those between-periods contests at Michigan Tech hockey games, only in reverse.
I went over to the long jump pit for a time. With the wet conditions, winds and high ceiling, I was concerned that some of the kids would have to be certified for an instrument landing before they could participate.
Such are 'spring' sports in the Copper Country.
Wednesday, the Houghton High School softball team played its final regular season game at the Marquette JVs. It was their 14th game of the year, and according to coach Melissa Grego, the Gremlins played less than half their originally scheduled contests.
Of course, it poured rain this week, wiping out two more key days of preparation ahead of next week's postseason events.
Much sympathy is owed to the folks attempting the noble pursuit of starting softball at Hancock High School. No one could have predicted at the time the idea came forth that the winter of 2012-13 would be utterly impenetrable through April.
At this point, it's probably best if we just consider the whole thing a demo and have a second first season for the program next year.
The offer I made to stage the U.P. Finals on the Wii still stands. Michael Bleach had Wednesday's Sandretto Invitational at Portage Lake Golf Course, but it sounded like the "No Remaining Make-Up Dates Open Brought to You by FootJoy."
Local teams are going to have to play back-to-back (Calumet Invite today)-to-back (Bulldog Invite Friday) to complete the WestPAC season, and even then, there was no chance of making up the events at Gogebic Country Club or George Young Recreation Area. Yup. Extraordinary measures to complete two-thirds of their season.
Paraphrasing something I saw on Twitter a few weeks ago: "I feel bad for people who are serious about spring sports."
Then again, it doesn't look like many of them feel sorry for themselves.
Jamie Dompier of Chassell broke 12.4 seconds for the 100 meters on a wet asphalt track. Yeah, there was a tailwind, but what kind of actual time assistance does wind give at the Division 3 high school level? Furthermore, at a shade over five feet, what kind of assistance is being applied?
When they tee it up at PLGC for the Division 1 U.P. golf finals next week, I expect Copper Country players will do just as well as they always have. The only difference is I may not get to cover the meet on a motorized cart, which is frankly a disappointment, but I suppose we all have to make sacrifices.
At this point, I just hope next week's plague isn't locusts. Might really mess up the greens.
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.