KEEPING TRACK

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KEEPING TRACK

Written by By Rod O’Donell on 25 March 2013.

Random Thoughts: 1) In the March issue of Track & Field News, Editor E. Garry Hill listed several ways that might indicate whether you are a hardcore track fan…the following should be added to the list:

-“If you have spent several hours scouring the internet to get meet results that the traditional media neglect to even mention.”

-“If you have ever searched a college campus to see the track facility, thus delaying your arrival at your vacation destination.”

-“If you keep meet results, training diaries, and work-out results from 30 years ago.”

-“If you have scored a championship meet several times BEFORE the competition, and you miss the final score by fewer than five points.”

-“If you are choosing the team for the next Olympics before the current games have concluded.”

-“If you have a quilt made of old running/race t-shirts that remind you of great days gone by.”

-“If you come upon a hill while driving, and plan a great work-out using the elevation change.”

-“If you find yourself reading your Track & Field News from the 70’s.”

-“If you see a road sign that reads ’26 miles to …’, and you immediately think of the marathon distance.”

I am sure the readers of RUNOHIO can add many more ideas to this list.

2) Why does our sport only attract national media coverage in a non-Olympic year when athletes like Suzy Favor-Hamilton and Oscar Pistorius have sensational legal issues or athletes are caught in drug scandals? Positive stories are always available, such as the accomplishments of high school phenom, Mary Cain, and the countless inspiring stories about high school and college meets and athletes that would provide an uplifting perspective about our sport to the public.

3) At a recent meeting that I attended in Northeast Ohio, few of those in attendance knew that on three consecutive weekends in February, the Big East Championship, the Big Ten Championship, and the NAIA Championship were being held at the world-class SPIRE indoor facility in Geneva, Ohio.

4) Where did the fans go who packed Peden Stadium at Ohio

University to watch the Ohio Relays in the ‘60’s? What caused our sport to take a backseat to so many frivolous sports?

5) Will the track and field community take notice at the unbelievable decision to drop wrestling from the Olympics? Will they see that if this can happen, NO sport is safe.

6) Will coaches of women’s intercollegiate track realize that they could see their programs dropped if a less expensive sport with more participants emerges? Will they continue to fail to market and keep score at meets, thus making the same mistakes that caused the demise of their male counterparts?

7) Is the implementation of spring football in Ohio on the horizon, and does the track community realize what impact this would make on our sport? Track and field is the answer to spring ball because speed, strength, and agility development are the core of every practice.

8) Will track fans react to the discontinuing of men’s programs by following the five stages of grieving: 1) denial; 2) anger; 3) bargaining; 4) depression;

5) acceptance, or will they continue to fight to bring back their beloved sport by following the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”

Yours in track,

Rod O’Donnell

Other Keeping Track articles:

Another Division I institution has dropped its men’s track program - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/498-keeping-track

Ohio University Athletic Department's Worst Decision - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/497-keeping-track-ohio-university-athletic-departments-worst-decision

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Life Lessons from Cross Country - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/140-life-lessons-from-cross-country

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Ten Pledges for Cross Country Coaches - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/108-ten-pledges-for-cross-country-coaches

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London Olympics - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/419-keeping-track

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Improving as a Coach – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/322-keeping-track-1

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You Only Go Around Once - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/3-keeping-track

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Dear Jesse Owens – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/215-keeping-track

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West Virginia State Cross Country Championship – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/472-keeping-track

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SPIRE Institute - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/160-keeping-track

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