Sunday, April 24, 2011

The rules of covering track

Anyone who knows my coverage over the last 10 years of area high school track and field has probably heard my rant about the one steadfast rule I always try to honor - never approach an athlete for an interview until they're done competing for the day. It's all about respect.

After Saturday's Ranger Relays at North, perhaps I should add two more steadfast rules:

- Always pack sunscreen to avoid sun burn
- Never park by the discus field

Thankfully my car didn't suffer any damage despite my less than intelligent move of looking for a closer parking spot Saturday morning, only to park by the discus area and not give it a second thought until I went back out of the stadium to watch a flight of the boys discus. Nice move.

My face and neck, on the other hand, did suffer some damage.

You would think after all these years of standing outside all day for track that I would know to be prepared for all weather. Usually I am - umbrella, hoodie, layers if need be. Sunscreen REALLY needs to become part of my arsenal.

As I'm typing this, I look like I stuck my head in a kiln.

It's hard not to laugh at the concept of being the athletes I interviewed post-sun burn Saturday and trying to keep a straight face looking at my red face. Granted, great area prep athletes like Abbie Clifford of Perry are probably used to seeing me at this point in their careers. Just not looking like a tomato, that's all.

Friday, I'll be heading out to my alma mater Harvey to cover the Dick Beeler Booster Invitational. Should the weather be nice and sunny, and if you read this and notice I don't have some sort of sun protection, you have permission to smack me on the back of the head.

It may hurt, but after the Ranger Relays experience I'll deserve it.

- Chris Lillstrung


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