Students caught in storms

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 3

At least three Toledo-area high school athletic teams – in Tennessee for spring-break competitions – were caught in the severe weather that swept through Nashville yesterday.

None of the area athletes or their coaches was hurt.

Two Toledo schools, Woodward and St. Ursula, sent their girls’ softball teams to play some of the Volunteer State’s top teams.

“The storm was all around us,” said Dan Smith, Woodward’s coach. “The winds were so strong, it just tore Nashville apart.”

Team members spent the day in their hotel. Mr. Smith woke them at 6 a.m. and told them to lie down between the beds in their rooms and to put mattresses over them in case the windows were blown in. He said one tornado passed about a mile away.

“Some of the girls were scared,” he said.

St. Ursula’s team, which was not entered in the same tournament as Woodward’s, was downtown in a Planet Hollywood restaurant when the downtown tornado struck. They stayed inside and suffered no injuries, restaurant staff reported.

Bowling Green High School’s boys and girls track teams were scheduled to have a meet against Montgomery Bell Academy, a top Nashville prep school. But the weather canceled the event early in the day. And when the worst of the storm hit, the students stayed huddled inside the school.

“One of the two tornadoes went right over the school and touched down down the road,” said Mike Vannett, the school’s athletic director, who did not make the trip.