Different view: Thomas McLeroy assists with scrunners.com state meet coverage

Submitted by Thomas McLeroy


Greenville Tech Charter distance runner Thomas McLeroy shares his experience during the state meet this past weekend as part of scrunners.com's coverage team.


May 14, 2010

I woke up in the morning, went to school, and headed down to Columbia for the SCHSL State Track and Field Championships. All I could think about was the type of experience I would have. 


When John Olson picked me up from school on Friday afternoon, we talked about what parts of the track meet I would be covering. On our way down to Columbia, I was amazed at how many people John knew. Coaches from all different schools were calling, emailing, and doing other stuff. 


It was then I realized how important running a website like scrunners is! I had no clue I would be doing video interviews, filming events, and taking pictures of the athletes.


We talked about what ways I would be able to help out with covering the meet. Once we got to the hotel and dropped off our bags, we headed straight to Lower Richland. Once we got there, we went through the schedule of events to find out where to be at what times so we could get the best coverage possible.


 It is impossible for one man to do all of the work with coverage at a track meet. We used Friday as a test trial of how we would cover all of the events on Saturday. If I needed to go down to the shot put and discus area to get interviews or pictures, I would do so.  The first day wasn’t much of a challenge because it was literally only half of a track meet.


May 15, 2010

On Saturday, it was time for the madness to really start. One track meet is a lot to cover to begin with. The scrunners crew had four meets to deal with on Saturday. We worked to get pictures, interviews, and film of all classifications for all events. It might sound difficult, but with the right crew nothing is impossible. 


Friday gave me an outlook of what Saturday would be like. Running from event to event to cover them wasn’t the hard part of the day because I also run cross country and track. The main focus was staying hydrated. On a 90-degree weather day in the humid county of Columbia can be extremely rough. Without water to hydrate you, you could seriously pass out. I consumed a lot of water that day for the sake of scrunners and myself. 


Without a crew to cover the meet, there wouldn’t be pictures, interview, or anything on the website. There would not be scrunners without people behind the scenes. With the water consumption of the day, I made it through the entire meet. 


One of the key points of the day that I realized how difficult covering a meet can be was when I was taking pictures of the Class A 400-meter dash for the boys. Before the start, I positioned myself after the first 100 meters and took photographs. On my way to get pictures of the final stretch all within 50 seconds, I also had to get a few snapshots of the awards podium for another race. Luckily, I made it back to the final stretch in time to capture the finish and then get the awards photos. 


This race showed me how much it took in order to get adequate coverage with limited time.


May 16, 2010

We left Columbia for Greenville in the morning and returned home where continuous work will be produced on scrunners.com throughout the coming week. 


Post meet conclusion

Each night after the meet is when some of the real work began. There were thousands of pictures to edit and start to upload during the middle of the night. Pictures from all classifications needed to be sorted through to find the best ones for the website. 


It might not seem very difficult if you are dealing with a few hundred pictures, but when you get into the thousands, it can be a challenge. John taught me one program to use for editing and how to get the pictures to a reasonable resolution so they could be uploaded to scrunners in an efficient manner. It was very easy to catch on and then the work began. I never thought an ordinary hotel room could be turned into a full office!


Other thoughts

It takes a few dedicated people in order to cover a meet adequately.

A field can be turned into a 20-plus man operation to cover a track meet.

Covering a track meet can be as tiring as running in a track meet.

We are the future of scrunners.

Covering a track meet gave me a different outlook and respect for meet managers, photographers, and interviewers.

Track is magic!