From near and far, fans brave weather for Burger King Classic, S - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

From near and far, fans brave weather for Burger King Classic, Stars & Stripes Invitational

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ERIE, Pa. -

Laura and Jim Boyce make it to the Stars & Stripes Gymnastics Invitational every year to watch their daughter, Maria, compete. With the rain coming down, they kept a close on the temperature while driving to Erie Friday morning.

"We started at 55 and within about an hour it had dropped to about 35," Jim said.

But with a mix of rain and snow in the forecast, it's the drive home to Morgantown, W. Va. that worries them.

"Gymnastics is a winter sport, so you're used to coming to meets in the bad weather," Laura said.

The wide range of winter weather, not getting in the way of some of the other competitors, including Team Gymsport from the Pittsburgh area. "We're very excited!" they exclaimed prior to their meet Friday night.

Across town, fans crossed their fingers on those slick roadways heading to the Burger King Classic, the acclaimed annual high school basketball tournament hosted by Cathedral Prep. The tournament is able to go on without a hitch, with the three out-of-town teams each arriving in Erie on Thursday from Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

"It's part of the contract that they get here early so that if there's a weather situation, we have time to adjust," said Prep Athletic Director Bill Flanagan.

"We left early Thursday morning. It was a straight shot, about seven hours on the bus ride," said Gary DeCesare, head coach of Chicago's St. Rita's High School. "So it was okay, not a problem at all."

Even though the weather is changing throughout the night, some of the folks we talked to at the gymnastics tournament said they're going to make it home tonight, they're going to brave the elements rather than stay in one of the nearby hotels.

"Most of our other teammates are staying the night tonight, but we're trying to beat it back," said Laura Boyce. "So we'll see who made the right choice."

And sometimes, you just have to embrace the weather.

"Coming up to Erie, the weather is part of the adventure," Jim Boyce added.

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