A fight among spectators and several athletes led to the suspension and possible cancellation of the Southwestern Conference Championships boys track and field meet at East St. Louis High School, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The first track event of the meet had just finished Thursday night when a fight began in the stands near the finish line, the Post-Dispatch reported. The fight escalated, and several security officers and school administrators stepped in to stop the altercation.
Several East St. Louis athletes rushed into the stands as well, the Post-Dispatch reported. The altercation appeared to involve multiple groups of students. Another small altercation popped up near the East St. Louis team's tent.
East St. Louis athletics director Darren Sunkett told the Post-Dispatch that it was best to cancel the meet for the safety of athletes and fans. Conference athletic directors planned to speak Tuesday evening to decide if they would reschedule the meet for Friday or cancel it. The meet had already been moved from Wednesday to Tuesday to try to avoid bad weather.
“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 told the Post-Dispatch. “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.”