McCollum’s Column: Stuff overheard at a state track meet

The smell of sunscreen was all about Young-Wise Memorial Stadium Tuesday.

 

Good day to work on the tan. Or seek the shade. Folks did both.

Temperatures in the mid-80s by afternoon. Bright sun. An occasional breeze.

Perfect weather for a track meet.

Hendrix College had double the pleasure — or the challenge. The college, aided by Conway Christian’s staff, concurrently put on two state track meets — Class A and AA. Young-Wise has great facilities in a central locations with a athletic staff that is seasoned in hosting track meets — most recently last weekend with a 2A regional meet.

A large parking lot adjacent to the stadium resembled an old AmTram/AMC lot. Dozens of yellow busses were parked in order.

Competition began at 10:30 a.m. By late-afternoon, there was a lull before the finals.

Under the dozens of small tents, the athletes took a break in the shade in small tents lined by coolers. They rested on blankets before the finals.

Conversation ensued as some relaxed in tents or lined the fence surrounding the track and watched field events that hadn’t been completed.

Most did what teen-agers do when they have a chance to relax. They checked out their phones. They texted. And they napped.

One young man sat in a lawn chair, studying pages in a large notebook. Maybe he was still in contention as an honors graduate. Maybe he was just trying to graduate. Maybe he had a test upcoming. Regardless, it was impressive with all kinds of scurrying and conversation flowing about.

Track meets are great mingling spots. Several competitors, who had gone against each other throughout the season, congratulated each other. There was a couple or two, in rival togs, walking about holding hands.

And the random conversations:

“Where’s my phone?”

“Anyone know where there is a plug-in?”

“If you’re gonna take a picture of me, take a good one.”

“Wow, that guy jumped really high in that pole vault. Must be a record.”

“He’s got another two feet or so to set a record.”

“Looks pretty high to me. I couldn’t hold onto the pole.”

“Just think. We could be in school.”

Then, the debates, several debates.

One of the best, “Which is bigger, a volleyball or a soccer ball?”

On gorgeous afternoon in which anything outside was desirable, life was good.

 

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