2018 February

I’m running a little late on this month’s Coaches Corner as we’ve just concluded the winter indoor track season and my focus has been on that.  While I haven’t been coaching (officially) as Elizabeth McGurk took up the reins of the Mascenic program (ably I might add!) I have been deeply involved.  Among the many hats I wear is the one of contributor to the newhampshiretrackandfield.com website, writing articles and previewing championships.  But this past weekend I was able to present our sport in a different way to a potentially different audience.

As most of you know, I can talk about running, anywhere, anytime and for any duration.  While my running knowledge is only so comprehensive, I’ve been around long enough and paying attention long enough that I have a pretty good handle on what’s going on in the high school running scene.  II got to put those two “talents” to the test at the Division 1 and Division 2 Indoor State Championships.

Last year I was asked to provide commentary for the Division 2 SC livestream broadcast kind of at the last minute.  And while I was coaching, I had one athlete in one of the early events who was a veteran.  I asked him if he felt comfortable with me in the broadcast booth while he was getting ready and he said go for it.  So with little preparation I sat beside one of my fellow compatriots in coaching, Tim Cox of Coe Brown, and we did the broadcast that night.

This year, without the burden of coaching, I offered my services for either or both of the meets.  Watch out what you wish for and last Sunday, Super bowl Sunday, I was set to broadcast first the Division 2 meet at 10:50am, and the Division 1 meet at 3:50pm.  My first companion was Deerfield MS coach and NH running historian Jim McKenzie.  Both capable of spinning a good yarn, we feel in together right off the bat, recounting events we had both witnessed over the years, and doing a fairly good job filling some dead air while we waited for the hurdle trials to start.  I had studied the fields of both meets, knew who the players were and the up and comers to watch, and while it was a little nerve wracking at first, we didn’t take long to get in the flow of things and present to the viewing public the nuances of the racing unfolding in front of them.

By the time we hit the afternoon show I was rolling.  My co-anchor was Tim Cox again, and he’s really good with the stats so I just had to focus on the races and how they were unfolding.  While I was on mic for more than 6 hours it felt a lot like the talking around the cars in the parking lot of CV after a Wednesday Night workout.

I’ve gone back to review the commentary of both those meets (and to watch some of our local athletes perform) to see how it sounded to the general public.  Not knowing what the viewing public was expecting I can’t say for sure we hit it out of the park, but it sounded pretty good to me.  You could certainly tell the people on the mic knew the sport and enjoyed what they were watching, and have a passion and respect for the athletes and the sport.

Those races are available for viewing (along with lots of pics) on newhampshiretrackandfield.com under the meet hub tab on the home page.  If you like watching people run fast you won’t be disappointed.  Numerous division records were set along with a State record.  All the surrounding schools had players in the game, all finishing fairly high in the overall rankings with Rachel Hurley, Claire Ververka, and Evan Coyne all of ConVal making it to New Englands.  So congratulations to them.

See you out there.

*Date Change*  Sunday, March 18th, 2018   noon time

6th Eighth Annual Dead Possum Half Marathon and 14K, 36 Fairbanks Road, New Ipswich

New Ipswich’s hilliest Half marathon, interested? Contact msmith@mascenic.org