Like a lot of folks around the state, New Waverly track and field coach Eldridge McAdams was left scratching his head Wednesday afternoon.

In a surprising move, the University Interscholastic League halted all high school sports until May 11 and canceled the regional track and field meets because of the swine flu.

The UIL has decided to extend the state track championships to three-days from May 14-16 and add semifinal heats. The four athletes with the best times in the running events and distances in field events from each region now will qualify for the state meet.

New Waverly had two relay teams and three individuals qualify for the Class 2A Region III meet, which was supposed to be held in Whitehouse on Friday and Saturday, but because of windy conditions at the District 21-2A championships in Groveton two weeks ago, the Bulldogs didn’t exactly turn in their best performances.

“Take everybody if you are going to cancel regionals,” a fired up McAdams said Wednesday. “As a coach, you want to do anything you can for the kids to be successful. It’s not fair to the kids. They are taking our district times and distances, so it doesn’t look good. The wind was bad and we didn’t reach our potential.”

Freshman Myeisha Williams had a legitimate shot at advancing to the state meet in two events. She won both the long and high jumps at district, but she was well under her best leaps of the year.

Williams leaped 15 feet, 7 inches to win the long jump at Groveton. That was almost two feet shorter than the 17-3 mark she turned in to finish second at the Willis Wildkat Relays on April 2, which was her first high school meet.

“I think this is really going to hurt us,” McAdams said. “Myeisha had a chance to make it to state in both the high jump and long jump. She jumped 17-3 in the long jump at Willis and can jump 5-2 to 5-4 in the high jump.

“But because of the conditions at district, on record she is 15-7 and 4-10. I don’t know if that will make the cut.”

Freshman Alex Abbott also qualified for regionals in the 400-meter dash. She posted a time of 1:03.56 to place third.

Abbott, Williams, Alicia Scott and Whitney McCullough earned a trip to regionals by placing third in the 400-meter relay with a time of 52.10 seconds.

“Alex has been running well,” McAdams said. “She has been working hard and her best time was not at district. We could have improved in the relay. With the work we have put in since district, I think we could have shaved a couple of seconds off our district time.”

Jonathan Reese and the boys mile relay also qualified for regionals. Reese tied for second in the high jump with Corrigan’s Mike Morales at 5-10.

McAdams didn’t like the news that regionals were canceled and said he won’t know for sure until Friday if any of the New Waverly athletes qualified for state.

“I don’t agree with it and I have already gotten a couple of e-mails from coaches that want to get a petition going,” the coach said. “These kids have worked hard and it is not right for the UIL to take it out of their hands. There are things they could do to sanitize the regional meet. You never know what is going to happen in track. But these kids aren’t going to get the chance.”