Ron Moshier - Sports

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keeping track of field events the problem

Ever been to a track and field meet?

Go to New Hartford High School for Friday’s 55th annual New Hartford Invitational and look for Clinton’s Tom Wagner or Oneida’s Pat McLaughlin or Rome Free Academy’s Shawn Carter or Holland Patent’s Dan Fruscella. They’re among the best high school athletes in the area, most definitely worth watching.

Good luck finding them, though. If you’re not family or friend, you probably won’t know who’s who, and you won’t know who’s done what or where they stand until it’s over. That’s a shame.

On the track, the running events take center stage. In the field, the jumpers and the throwers and the pole vaulters toil in relative obscurity. That’s the problem.

Fan-friendly it isn’t. Uniform numbers and a program listing each participant, event-by-event, would help, but only a little. It’s too bad the jumpers and the throwers and the pole vaulters couldn’t have “invitationals” of their own, giving them a chance to compete, front and center, up close and personal with a crowd that otherwise can’t be sure what’s going on.

Only then will the casual fan really be able to appreciate just how talented, how competitive these athletes are. Only then will those athletes get the attention they so richly deserve.