Arlington high school track and field athletes being denied participation in statewide championship 

High schoolers who run track and field in Arlington are being told they won’t be participating in an upcoming statewide championship that is set to be held next week. 

High school track and field competitors from across the Commonwealth’s largest jurisdictions will be heading to Virginia Beach on March 1 for the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 boys and girls indoor state championship meets.

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County school leaders have said they are concerned about allowing track and field athletes to be in an indoor setting, citing health concerns about the ongoing high level of COVID infection in that part of Virginia.

Many parents, who are upset, have been talking about their frustrations on social media.

Many of them are asking why high school athletes like gymnasts, divers and swimmers are being allowed to go to their state meets and championships but track and field athletes can’t.

"They are next to participants who are running in close proximity and breathing heavily," said Debbie DeFranco, Supervisor, Health, Physical & Driver Education & Athletics for APS. "It’s very hard respirations leaving particles in the air that increase the risk of transmission and with gymnastics it’s one event they’re not competing close to any one there is great proximity and distancing between the athletes."