This story was very different in nature than the two stories that I wrote previously in the semester. I tend to focus on feature and profile writing, but this assignment provided an opportunity to gain experience covering an event. Luckily, track and field is a sport that I am very familiar with, so, I was comfortable with the sport specific terminology.
The entire writing process for this story was a complete change of pace. First, I had to drive to Preston County so that I could actually observe the races. As results came in, I had to work very quickly to compile them so that I would not fall behind. In addition, I didn’t have the luxury of setting up interviews a couple of days in advance. I had to track down the coaches immediately following the conclusion of the meet to get their assessment of the team’s performance, which isn’t an easy task.
My deadline for the story was 10:15 p.m. and track meets are notorious for lasting hours upon hours. The meet concluded at 9 p.m. so I didn’t have much time to send my final draft to the editors. Looking back on my writing strategy, however, I believe I made a very wise decision to get as much of the basic information (results, names of members of each relay team, etc..) included in my article as soon as each event was completed. This allowed me to spend the necessary time talking with sources at the conclusion of the meet and, thus, submit a completed article within the time restraints.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience ands was glad to go outside of my comfort zone by writing this type of story.
To see photos from the meet, click here.