Fight Erupts at Track Meet

May 10, 2018

Last week, a brawl in the grandstand at the Southwestern Conference Championships Track and Field Meet at East St. Louis (Ill.) High School led to the event being suspended and possibly canceled.

According to, the fight began after the junior varsity 3,200-meter relay, the first event of the meet. It included multiple spectators, and it further escalated when East St. Louis administrators and police officers tried to stop it. After order was restored, school administrators and meet officials met and decided to suspend the meet.

“It was best to cancel the meet today for the safety of the participants and the fans,” Darren Sunkett, Athletic Director for East. St. Louis, said. “The conference (athletic directors) will speak later on this evening if we're going to reschedule this meet for Friday or just cancel it.”

The meet had previously been changed from Wednesday to Tuesday due to possible inclement weather.

“It's beautiful weather," Joe Speaks, coach for O'Fallon, said. "It's always such a great track meet and things were just getting started. To have to make an abrupt stop to it is not ideal by any means. We'll see. Hopefully the kids can put it behind them. Having it on Friday allows a couple days for the guys to get a practice in and get them back in the swing of things.”

Sunkett expressed disappointment with the turn of events.

“You would hope we could all gather together in the stadium and watch a bunch of great athletes perform and we were unable to do that today,” Sunkett said. “It's disappointing. Some things are out of our control. As far as I know right now it wasn't students who started the whole thing in the stands, but we're going to investigate this thing further. We'll find out.”



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