Monday, June 13, 2011

New York Recap

My trip to New York this weekend was filled with high hopes and even bigger expectations. I love that city and I always look forward to competing there. The city didn't let me down. There was a ton of great culinary experiences.. from random whole in the wall Peruvian fare to fancy Mediterranean dinners complete with $20 cocktails and everything in between. I walked the streets and people watched to my hearts content. I rode in taxis and nearly died. I shopped. Overall it was a really great trip -- except for the competition.

When I stepped off the plane in New York on Thursday I was hit with the most intense wave of heat. It was suffocating. The pilot had mentioned it was over 100 degrees but once you factor in the humidity and all, you were miserable. Not to worry. By the time I made it to the track on Friday for a pre meet warmup it was about 20 degrees cooler and absolutely perfect weather for a track meet. Storms were in the forecast but they were supposed to be intermittent and I was hoping for similar weather the next day. If you watched the meet on T.V., you'd know that wasn't the case. It was cold. It was rainy. But most of all, it was windy.

The meet directors were nice enough to put us in the pre meet portion of the meet, hours before the real track competitions got started and eons away from the television broadcast. There was probably 17 people in the stands by the time we went out to the infield to get started, but as field event folks, we are used to the love (or lack thereof). I immediately made my way up to the event coordinator to enquire as to whether or not they'd be switching the runway to allow us to jump in the opposite direction because the wind was blowing something fierce. The beauty of having sand at both ends of a runway is that you are able to choose to not fight it. Unfortunately, we were told that no, they wouldn't be switching the runway because the T.V. cameras were already set up for that direction.

Just so you understand completely, we started jumping at 1pm. The "live" television broadcast of the meet was from 3pm-5pm. It was already obvious that we were somewhat of the forgotten stepchild and had no real chance of being part of the television coverage. The most we could hope for was a snippet of the winning jump in between laps of the 5k. But instead of giving us an opportunity for decent jumps and a respectable showing, they asked us to jump into a tornado. We did our best, but our best ended up being quite embarrassing. I was 5th out of 13 jumpers, and could barely manage a best jump of 6.29. I felt like I was on the runway trying to run fast toward the board, but got stuck doing the running man in place as soon as I stood up. It was awful. Instead of getting out of the pit and seeing if you landed anywhere near 7 meters, we were stepping out of the pit hoping it looked to be beyond 6 meters. I think everyone in the competition had a few jumps where that wish didn't come true.

You can't control mother nature and I don't like to make excuses for crappy performances, but if you were wondering what the reason was for such dismal performances, hopefully that clues you in a bit. At the end of the day though, 4 other people handled the situation better than I did and so I'm not to thrilled about that. I'll just take from it what I can and make sure that's not the case in two weeks.


Rachel said...

I'm sorry... sounds like they disregarded a simple fix to the issue. I'm glad you enjoyed New York though!

Leroy Jackson Smith said...

The whole meet was a joke. Just put a big red X through the whole thing and dump it into the East River!

Television coverage sucked too!

Too bad because I think you won that one last year!

Bianca said...

Fooey. That blows.

Get it? Blows. Wind.

Uh, nevermind.

Anonymous2 said...

Good that you were able to get out and about, although no pictures like you take in Europe. I'm sure everyone wants to put that meet behind them.

Allen W said...

You cannot fight Mother Nature, it is as simple as that. Sorry that TV treated you and your fellow jumpers the way they did. I have a feeling that really did not surprise you.

Good luck and take care.

Anonymous said...

The poor performance award goes to USATF again Brianna. That's why as a whole the sport is unrecognized in the United States. The camera's already being setup is a very poor explanation which rests on who ever is responsible for media in the organization. These people are already fully aware or at least should be aware how to set that event up for television. Help the athletes perform better by setting up an exciting venue. Funmi got some face time (she should put on some weight however) to represent the event.

Some time ago you responded to my suggestion regarding more major venue other than Oregon. Yes the attendance my be better there but chasing crowds is not helping the sport grow. Which has everything to do with so many excellent athletes struggling to get a decent wage.

Athlete's don't have stellar performances at every event; Lebron demonstrated that point. Question is did the fans have a good experience for what they paid for?