One of my bureau stories was a regional swim meet at Brooke High School. This story was probably one of the most difficult because of the length of the event. I had to arrive there at about 10 in the morning and it lasted until about 4 in the afternoon. The natatorium is extremely hot and as I was in professional dress I was sweating the entire time.
There was no way to get interviews before the meet or during the meet because the coaches and swimmers are doing their thing. I would be like going down on the field during a football game and asking the coach why he is calling the plays that he is calling.
It was fairly simple to keep track of what was going on because I did not have to write down all the names. They gave me a giant sheet with all the different events with all the people. They had they names, class, and school. Besides sitting there all day it wasn’t that bad.
After the meet it was a little difficult. I was there to cover Morgantown High and University High. Morgantown High’s girls won the whole thing so it was easy to get interviews with their swimmers and their coach. She was so happy and gave some great quotes, but the University head coach didn’t even want to talk to me. Her boys and girls got last in both categories. So when I asked her for quotes she basically gave one sentence to one word answers and even asked if we could do it later.
Working for the Dominion Post gives me a long time to get ready for these stories in the sense of how to write the story and how I would like it to work out but there is no way to insure that, but I had the ability to get my calls to the coaches to tell them I would be there.
These stories don’t give me much time to do research, but I was able to find articles from last year’s regional swim meet and state swim meet to see how both the teams did so I could have some relatable questions.
I love working sporting events because I like to tell stories about how things unfolded and not do things like features or public issues were the ending is still up in the air.