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My first track meet

By mrasor Published: January 13, 2006


OK. I'm not in a good mood. I just spend an hour of my Friday typing up a blog about my experience at the Akron Quad tonight. Then poof, with an errant click of the mouse, my post was erased. I hate life.

I'll restart.

Track and field coach Dennis Mitchell invited me to the Akron Quad a couple weeks ago after I wrote that track is a boring sport. Both Akron men's and women's teams won over Ohio, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall. Here are the highlights from my experience...

  • The announcer did a poor job. First, he propped up some runners from Pittsburgh, Ohio and Seton Hall as if they were part of the home team. Conversely, many Akron runners were given a monotone introduction. He also neglected much of the action other than running, so I had no idea what was going on with pole vault, weight throw, high jump or long jump. Maybe I'm missing the boat, but the home team's announcer should be used to take advantage of the home-field advantage. Right?

  • The end of races were thrilling in many cases. The hurdles are my favorite event. Fractions of an inch separate a good jump from one that lands you on your face. Now that's entertainment. An Ohio runner did, in fact, take a tumble. Don't worry, he's fine. Pole vault also is cool.

  • The whole event is like a carnival. So many things are going on at the same time that you can't possibly take them all in. But it's fun to try.

  • The fan turnout was less than I expected. I heard they usually pack the field house for these things. I didn't see many fans. Instead, the field house was about half full with family and friends of athletes. Maybe it was because school isn't yet in session.

  • Watching people run, jump and throw things is fun. Watching people run with a ball while dodging tacklers, or jump to slam a ball, or throw a ball 90 miles per hour past a person trying to hit it, is more fun. I'll never watch a track meet over a football, basketball or baseball game.

  • However, it was fun. And if you're a hardcore Zips sports fan, I suggest you drop by. The next home meet is the Kangaroo Invitational on Jan. 27, 7 p.m. at the Field House.

  • Oh, and to answer your question: Is track boring? Yes. I can say, without a doubt, that if Akron wasn't involved, I would've been bored. But is Akron track boring? No.

  • Finding out that Akron swept the quad has put me in a considerably better mood. Brittany Hocker is really, really fast. She won two events. John Russell cleared 18-feet, 1-inch to set a Field House, school and MAC record in the pole vault. With the performance, Russell earned a berth at the NCAA Championships.

Men's basketball

Tomorrow's game against Northern Illinois should be a good one. To hold you over, I found this on It says Akron will get a 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament.


Gary Estwick of the Beacon Journal wrote a good story about university presidents' roles in athletics. If you haven't noticed, Estwick is one of the ABJ's best sportswriters. I enjoy his stuff.

Speaking of the ABJ, Bob (a person who posts from time to time on this blog) said the paper wasted a bunch of space on the Antonio Pittman/Chris Wells story. I understand why he might think that. However, let me fill you in on a dirty little secret of journalism and page layout: Every newspaper front page must have a centerpiece art, whether it's a photo or illustration. And it must take up about a quarter of a page. As a result, editors and page designers must give some stories more prominence than they deserve because they are lacking another centerpiece. Case in point: Did you see the huge picture of a figure skater a few days back? The Buchtelite does it all the time, too. My least favorite was when we ran a shot of a member of The Real World about three columns on A1. Ugh!

Oh yeah. I have placed a ban on all classic rock banter for one week. Between The VP, Hixenbaugh, SDK, Bob, Eric, Brett and I, there were over 15 comments about Paul Rodgers, Brian May, Steve Augeri, Steve Perry, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour and Eric Clapton. At least we came to one consensus: nobody likes the song "Magic Stick." If you do, wait until the one-week hiatus to expire before you complain about this post.

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