JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The high school state track and field meet is coming back to town.
The Florida High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that the event will be held at UNF’s Hodges Stadium on May 7-8. The state championships were originally scheduled to be held at the University of Florida’s James G. Pressly Stadium, but restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic forced the venue change.
The 2020 state track meet was wiped out by the pandemic.
UNF served as the state track meet host from 2012-15, and again in 2018-19. Gainesville was scheduled to host the state meet as part of a three-year contract from 2020-22.
“We would like to thank the City of Jacksonville and the University of North Florida for their commitment to providing a first-class championship experience for our student-athletes, coaches and spectators,” said FHSAA Executive Director George Tomyn. “As we continue our comeback of high school sports this year, a return to Hodges Stadium for this year’s state championship event will provide nearly all spectators who wish to attend, the opportunity to do so.”
The return of the track meet continues to make UNF one of the top destinations for both headlining high school and college track and field meets.
The college will host the NCAA East Prelims later next month, as well as again in 2023 and 2025. The upcoming NCAA meets mean the East Prelim will have been held at UNF eight times over a 14-year span. UNF has also hosted that meet in 2012, ‘14-16 and ‘19.
The state meet coming to Jacksonville during that time means that the city will serve as host to a pair of high school spring sports championships. The flag football championships are May 7-8 at Mandarin High.