Thursday, February 25, 2010

Road Tripping With BYU Track & Field

Men's and Women's teams after winning the MWC Indoor Championships in last year. Men have won 9 of the last 10 championships and the women have won 8 of 10.

As the BYU men's track PR guy (I'm tired of saying sports information director--it sounds too official, no one knows what that means, and I'm not even sure that's really my title anyway), I am in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships.

There's an outdoor competition in May, but the women's SID is going to that one as it begins on the day I get home from my supervisors didn't want my wife to be mad at me as soon as we started, so they put me on this one. I suppose it was a good call.

I have attended three men's basketball conference tournaments (all as a spectator) and three women's soccer conference tournaments (all as a Daily Herald reporter) but this is my first track & field championships and the first time I have traveled with a team.

So......some highlights:

The only times I've been to New Mexico was a trip to Philmont with my grandparents, sister, and cousins when I was, what, 13 or so? And then I have been to Four Corners (which turns out isn't really legit). Upon landing, I was amazed at how exactly it compared to what I imagined it to be: flat and brown.

Pool is outdoors. High disappointment.

Despite working lots with Coach, I haven't met anyone on the team yet. Getting to the gate I met Chris and TJ, who at once were good to me in SLC and later invited me to hit up Subway with them for lunch after we landed. They sort of remind me of Yeah-Yeah and his brother in The Sandlot (easily one of the greatest sports/teenager movies ever). TJ was next-door-neighbors with my buddy Tyler before he went to school at Duke, and Chris told me at dinner he has four kids...and I think I believe him. They both compete Saturday and have good shots at winning the pole vault and especially at taking All-Conference.

So many good quotes....I'll save them for later.

On the plane I sat next to Aaron, a triple and long jumper. I learned he was engaged, so we bonded there (cute, I know.)

I landed and found out we didn't have a quiz in one of the classes I'm skipping out on today. Quizzes happen 9 of 10 times, so praise be on that one.

The team had dinner together at Macaroni Grill. While we waited for our food, I filled up on raspberry and mango lemonades (nod goes to raspberry) and learned from an Olympian how to fold a dollar bill into a pyramid which he learned through reading Southwest Airline onboard magazines. Coach Eyestone ran the marathon for the U.S. in Seoul in 1988 and in Barcelona in 1992 and is here coaching the distance runners. We had our own room/area and it was lit by 10 buy-them-at-Target light bulbs. As New Mexico does get dark at night, this was an issue, but apparently the MG staff has the sonar of a bat and gets by. Whatever.

Coach Eyestone sat next to an older man whose name I can't remember. He's a trainer and has been around for a long time; he was telling stories of traveling with Kresimir Cosic. He showed us what looks like a silver pen that heals muscle pain simply by rubbing it clockwise in the bad area. He said there are 15 kinds of crystals all mashed up that counteract the pain...sounds bogus, but I saw him use it earlier today before knowing what it was and saw a kid jump up really pleased at how things felt afterward. I want one...apparently they're only $300.

Finally, I am rooming with Danny who competes in the shot put. I think he is literally twice as big as me. We bonded over women's figure skating tonight (congrats to my Korean sister).

(No, I never had "yellow fever"....)

I'm glad I have finally learned how to spell Albuquerque. That said, there are more letters in its name than there are people in its city limits. The place is a ghost town.

The USA Championships are here right after our meet, so the facilities are really nice. Well, so they tell me. It looks to be close between us, New Mexico, and TCU. We'll see after Friday how we're doing!

1 comment:

  1. Why is your blog pointless now that you got married? Seriously, it's been a year Jordan. Either step it up or have Natalie do your family blog. I want pictures and an update at least every other month.

    Please! With love,
    Natsta Rasta