The Aurora City Championship cross country meet — held annually for decades — has been canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Aurora City Championship Cross Country meet — a longstanding tradition that stretches back to the 1980s — won’t happen this season thanks because of the coronavirus.

A staple of the opening portion of the season for city teams, the meet fell victim to two factors related to the pandemic according to Vista PEAK Prep Athletic Director John Sullivan, whose school had hosting duties this season.

Concerns about large meets prompted most teams to opt for dual meets or smaller, more manageable competition within their own leagues to fill out schedules, which saw the total number of meets allowed by the Colorado High School Activities Association cut from 11 to seven.

On top of that, the meet’s long-time home — the Aurora Sports Park — has been converted into a free COVID-19 testing center (which the Sentinel wrote about this week), making it unavailable for anything else. Sullivan said alternate sites considered were also unavailable.

Two recent graduates, Grant Bradley of Overland and Anna Swanson of Grandview, won individual Aurora city titles last season, while Grandview swept boys and girls championships.

Official practice for the cross country season began Wednesday, with first competition — with the numbers of races restricted — allowed Saturday.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports