With the completion of the state track and field meet this past weekend, it means the book is closed on another school year.
My sports calendar goes by faster every year. It feels like just yesterday I was going to volleyball and football. The winter sports season is the longest, but even that felt like it was over in a matter of weeks. Spring sports is always hectic, games all over the place, every day, with everyone always keeping an eye on the unpredictable weather.
This year’s state track meet in Wichita was a fitting conclusion on the spring sports season. Not only did it have events going on all over the track and surrounding field events, we even had a little bit of weather pop out of nowhere.
I had checked the weather app on my phone all week and I knew one thing for certain; it was going to be hot. What I didn’t expect was the lightning delay after just two events Friday morning. It pushed the schedule back about 90 minutes, so I took my time eating breakfast at Spangles.
The meet continued after the lightning moved out and it felt like any other state track meet. That’s not a negative, either. The Kansas state track meet is an incredible event to witness. All classes, from 1A to 6A, are in the same location.
A lot of the time, the 5A and 6A athletes are turning in faster times or longer throws than the smaller schools, but that isn’t always the case. For example: The top-two boys’ shot put throws came from 2A and 1A athletes.
One of the best parts of the meet is the PA announcer. He does a good job of letting the crowd know when something special might happen so you can pay attention to a possible state record.
That leads into one of the more underrated moments of state track. When the entire crowd is watching a specific athlete, like a high jumper trying to set a new record, and everybody is clapping ready to see it happen. But then the jumper hits the bar and there is a collective “ahh” from the crowd. Nobody is upset with the jumper, it’s just a little groan that he or she didn’t make it, but since so many people do it at the same time, it’s very audible. Cracks me up every time.
While there wasn’t lightning Saturday, there was plenty of sunshine and heat. I saw numerous athletes finish a race and need a trainer to help them out. I hope everyone is OK and got plenty of water and/or Gatorade. I wasn’t doing any running but I still found shade whenever I could. At one point I walked to Sonic – which was close and a better option than driving somewhere and fighting for a parking spot when I got back – and then came back and sat in my car with the air conditioning on. I also slathered on some more sunscreen. I’m proud to say I returned to Atchison without a sun burn this year.
But the year is over now and my 2017-2018 KSHSAA media credential badge has been hung up with all my previous media badges from various activities.
Before you know it, though, August and September will be here and I’ll be back at volleyball, football, soccer and everything else that comes with the beginning of the school year.