Southtowns Invitational Track Association
SITA is an abbreviation for the Southtowns Invitational Track Association. It is a self administered track association originally organized by several locally prominent individuals that wanted to encourage parochial school students in grades 3 through 8 to participate in springtime sports. Using their normal athletic abilities of running, jumping and throwing, the youngsters are given the opportunity to compete mildly with peers from their own school and neighboring schools.
SITA was essentially formed with 4 schools led by Dr. Peter Schreier of St. Bernadette along with Mr. Joseph DeMarco of Nativity and several others, including the late Mr. Peter Walters of SS. Peter and Paul in Hamburg. The current league director Mr. Edward Hoak of SS. Peter and Paul joined the others shortly afterward and have guided the league ever since those early years. Today it is comprised of 22 parochial schools organized into three separate divisions according to the student population count in grades 3 through 8. During the season that generally begins the last week of April, each school participates in 3 triangular meets at varying locations, i.e., St. Francis High School, Orchard Park High School, Hamburg High School East Aurora High School and Canisius High School.
Coaches from each school generally lineup their own athletes for both track and field events before each meet commences. All events are run for both boys and girls in each age group with ribbons awarded to the top 4 finishers in each event. The first event is the 300 meter (4x75) relay. Lane assignments are given to each school by the league officials. Each school, in turn, can submit 2 teams for each race category, i.e., 10 & under, 12 &under, and 14 & under. All the relays are run in succession.
The field events usually start after completion of the relays. The first sprint is a 60 meter dash for 8 & under. The subsequent sprints are 75 meter sprints for each age group, from 9 & under to 14 & under inclusive. Standing jumps occur simultaneously for 9 & under and 11 & under, while running jumps occur for 13 & under and 15 & under. Softball throws happen concurrently for the same age and gender brackets
A one mile race for each gender also occurs near the end of the field events. The last events of the day are the 800 (4x200) meter relay race. In addition to each boy/girl race, an 800 meter co-ed race finishes the triangular meet.
The season championship for each division generally occurs the weekend before Memorial Day. All student athletes in the respective divisions participate for gold medals during one grand meet at which all schools participate. Six ribbons are awarded to the top athletes in each event and the school gaining the most points becomes league champions. A Most Valuable Player for the Championship Meet is chosen based upon the total points earned this day in each Boy/Girl category.