I’m not ashamed to admit I have very little experience with track and field.
I threw discus and ran middle distance (yes, I know. Fat guy running.) in junior high and that’s about it.
Wednesday, I got to cover Pleasanton at the District 27-4A meet in Cuero. It was just the seventh meet I’ve gotten to cover in my short time as a professional.
But there’s something beautiful about a track meet.
You’ve heard me wax poetically about my love for stats and maybe that’s part of it, given there are so many numbers to digest at a meet. Maybe it’s my love for storytelling and the abundance of stories within a single track meet. Maybe it’s all of the above.
My introduction to track and field as a journalist came in 2019 covering the San Angelo Relays, one of the most famed track meets west of the I-35 corridor.
It was a two-day event that brought hundreds of competitors from all across the state, from big 6A schools, to tiny 1A schools. Again, there was just so much to digest from a journalism standpoint.
Between that meet, the Cotton Patch Relays in Wall, area and regional meets, and the state meet in Austin, I enjoyed every second out in the blazing sun or a torrential downpour, as was the case at the 2019 state meet.
I think it was the rush of trying to hurry to get my interviews before the next race started that helped me enjoy the meets.
On Wednesday, I was reminded of that as Pleasanton qualified 22 athletes for the area meet.
It seemed as though every time I would get an interview done, I would have to turn around and get photos and video of the next Pleasanton athlete qualifying for area.
But that’s something us journalists love, following the story.
In addition to Pleasanton’s 22, Jourdanton and Poteet are sending a combined 27 athletes to the area meet. McMullen County also won the team district titles and are going to be well represented at the area meet in Medina this weekend.
The Pleasanton Express coverage area is definitely an underrated track hotbed. Maybe that can change soon with what the area schools are accomplishing in the postseason.
So, I look forward to covering more track meets, hopefully all the way to Austin in May. I may need to actually invest in sunscreen, though.