Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Track-iversary (Blog-iversary?)

It's a few days early by the calendar, but not by the event: it's the three-year anniversary for Big South SHOUT!

See, I'm writing this (in first-person no less--feels more appropriate) from the press deck of the Clemson University Indoor Track & Field facility, just like we did the very first official post of SHOUT in 2008. That first post, "Taking a LEAP," hit February 29th, 2008...making the "leap" a forced pun on the launch of the blog and the calendar's Leap Day...and it used the same clip art photo seen below...

The wheel keeps turning...that was my first stint streaming from the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships--and I'm now on my fourth. Back then the event was a joint meet held along with the Southern Conference. Since then, the SoCon and Big South have gone back to staging separate events (although on consecutive days), which greatly simplifies the process--as many events as we see in a meet like this, imagine even more sessions and double the athletes. Separate events means a little more in rent for each league, but a less hectic process. And of course, I'll be handling the video streaming for it all on the Big South Network again this year.

It's also the fourth year for the CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, where I was last week...sweltering (and streaming of course) in the oppressive humidity in the otherwise very nice Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia. Those four years have been on the move--Huntersville-NC, Athens-GA, Knoxville-TN, and back to Athens-GA. Those three-day meets can drag at times, but you can't deny the skills of the student-athletes who come out and give their all--some very impressive displays in the pool and the diving well. They come to compete from four different conferences, none of which have their own championship events: Big South, SoCon, MEAC, and the Atlantic Sun. Big South news of note from the CCSA: Gardner-Webb had an impressive dual finish, taking second for the men and third for the women (congrats), and Liberty's women finished 6th--which is an impressive performance for a first-year program, making the upper half of the field.

Anyway, it's all part of the annual gauntlet of championships and travel: swimming, track, men's basketball, women's basketball (and board meetings) in consecutive weeks, after which we can fully embrace the spring sports...which have already begun. Such a busy time, but it's all part of the wheel that turns in collegiate athletics every year.

So Happy Blog-iversary, SHOUT fans, here's a SHOUT-out to you!
Yours truly,
Mark Bryant
Big South Conference

No comments: