5 out of 6 photos the Tufts Daily have used this year are either from last year, of athletes no longer on our team, or are duplicates of the same picture.

No one gives a crap about track and field

Had limited time today at practice, so today’s training was super light, so I’m going to write a little bit about how track coverage is terrible most of the time, and also why that will never change.

Overview of Wednesday, March 1, 2017

  • 600m warmup jog/skips with eyelight glasses
  • Ankle Pops circuit uphill
  • Hip circuit (w/ physical therapist)
  • 10 minute ice bath

I only had an hour today to practice, which was frustrating, but probably gave my legs much needed rest. Even though I have yet to do a real track workout, I’ve been crushing rehab exercises everyday and attacking my weaknesses, enough to leave me in perpetual soreness.

Tomorrow I should be doing some pole vault work, so things are starting to get juicy.

ankle death

25 ways you can improve track & field journalism, you’ll never believe #7!!!!

When your sport gets no love, you pretty much get used to it. I went to literally the best high school in the country for track and field, where we won an obscene amount of state and national titles. Some of my teammates were even on Team USA, most got nice D1 scholarships. And yet, my classmates still cared more about the baseball squad. After all, they did win the county conference meet. Can you believe it??

The Tufts Daily (our student newspaper) is no exception, but that does not surprise me. Track and Field is a widely misunderstood sport. It’s especially boring if you have no experience competing and no appreciation for it. I can’t imagine a student journalist with no background in track to do it justice. But wow Tufts Daily, we can do better. Every time a T&F athlete on our team opens the Daily, we all share the same reaction: sigh.

Since I don’t feel good about publicly roasting y’all, I will try to be constructive instead. Here are a few simple ways you can improve your coverage of Tufts track and field this season:

1. Come to the track meets

Could you imagine if a football reporter didn’t go to an exciting football game and tried to cover the atmosphere properly? Track is definitely not like football, but there is a lot more to a track meet than the posted results page 3 days after the meet.

Our recent New England championship was nuts. We were chanting, we were screaming, we were crying, we were laughing. It was our biggest win as a track team in almost 10 years. It might have been the most exciting meet I’ve ever been a part of as we upset MIT and Williams, the usual heavy favorites and 2016 outdoor D3NE and NESCAC champions respectively. The school website published a great little piece on it, but the Daily article could have been snuck into my ancient philosophy textbook and I would’ve still skipped over it.

We even did that football championship thing on Coach Joel. It was a good time. A title that casually says it was our fifth New England title as if it was an ordinary meet devalues this accomplishment so much. We deserve a better narrative.

2. Use actual photos from the meet

This might help if you follow step 1. Five out of six photos the Tufts Daily featured this season are either from last year, of athletes no longer on our team, or are duplicates of the same picture.

The order of images they have used to cover this year, from left to right. Only one is actually from a meet this season. Can you guess?

It’s not like we don’t have photography either. We have lots of great photos very accessible on our team facebook page we would be happy to share.

Plenty of amazing options….

3. Don’t make anymore careless mistakes, let us proofread.

The Jumbo field events had continued success with junior long jumper Linus Gordon’s 21’6.75″ triple jump, which earned him first place at the meet (source)

Fake news. Sad! In track speak, a 21 foot triple jump makes you worse than the average 8 or 9 year old. The author confused triple jump with long jump, but still somehow did it after mentioning Linus was a long jumper. If you only you knew Linus Gordon and how much this kind of thing bothers him. If you mention anyone on the Tufts long jump record board’s name (athletes in spots ahead of Linus himself), he’ll interrupt you and say: “Hey, hey, hey, put some respect on that name, he’s a 24 ft long jumper.” The kid cares a lot about his mark, that was hard work. We all do, so it actually is disrespectful when you misrepresent us. Those marks are all we have.

Because I know this is important to Linus, I should mention he is now a 23 foot long jumper after a huge personal best for second place at the D3 New England championships. A true legend.

Not long ago the Tufts Daily made this mistake, which was really sad to see:

From the Facebook of the mistaken athlete. The Daily has since removed the photo.

There is such a high volume of little mistakes made that are problematic. We know you are finishing these articles minutes before your Tufts Daily deadline, could you at least double check your facts or let us take a glimpse before you publish false information? It could go a long way.

I’ll stop there, and save points 4–25 for next time. See you tomorrow.

This is part of a new project of mine to share an authentic NCAA division 3 track and field experience. After 8 years of competing at the high school and college level, this is my last season of competition before graduating. Track is a pretty widely misunderstood sport so I wanted to offer as much insight into this world before saying goodbye.

For more, be sure follow me on the decathlog, twitter & instagram 👍

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