The North Coast Section cross country finals will be run Tuesday morning at Hayward High School, according to an announcement issued Monday morning by section officials.

The race, a qualifier for the CIF State Cross Country meet scheduled for Saturday in Fresno, had been postponed from an original run date of Nov. 17 after poor air quality as a result of the deadly fires in Butte County forced a slew of delays in area sporting events.

If the air quality index goes higher than 151 at any time during the event, the meet will be immediately canceled, according to section officials.

If races cannot be run, section officials have created an application for advancement to the state meet.

Racing is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m.

The races come after almost two weeks of dangerously poor air quality that has wreaked havoc on the cross country postseason. Both the North Bay League Oak and Redwood finals were postponed, then canceled altogether.

But the fate of the section meet brought a different level of anxiety for runners and coaches because it, unlike the league championship meets, is a qualifier for the state meet. A number of teams and individual runners have a chance to make the state meet with solid performances at Hayward today.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”