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Runnin’ … and Gunnin’

2 March 2016 Views From The Booth

su-featured-retina-buzz-smWelcome again to another “Views From The Booth!”

I had the pleasure this past Sunday to spend the day at the PG County Sports Complex (right next to Fed-Ex Field), as PA announcer for the ODAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. It was a long day, but a fun day of what Shenandoah University Athletic Director Doug Zipp called “organized chaos.” If you’ve ever been to an indoor track meet, there is a lot going on. On the infield, the long jump, high jump, pole vault, triple jump, and weight throws are all going on at once, while sprints and distance races are happening on the track. I had a lot of plates spinning at once, with winners to announce, first & second calls for the upcoming events, and general announcements to make throughout the day. All in a rather acoustically unfriendly venue (imagine a big airplane hanger). The day finally ended after 8pm with a Forrest Gump moment. No one was real excited about sharing a seat on the bus. Finally I was able to wrench myself into about 3/4 of a seat, which made for a very uncomfortable 2-hour ride back to Winchester. But I digress…

As track & field athletes don’t always get the headlines, I wanted to give some love to the Hornets.  The SU women finished 4th on the day, while the Hornet men had an 8th place finish. 17 student-athletes earned All-ODAC honors. Individually, Danyelle McGrady won the women’s weight throw, The unseeded distance medley relay team finished third, and sprinters Shamyra Wilkerson, Ansel Borhauer, and Leonard Scott had nice performances. A complete recap of the ODAC Championships can be found here.  To all who competed Sunday…Well Done!!!!

Now, on to another topic. This weekend we wrap up the regular season in college basketball and next week the various conference tournaments begin. With a 68-team NCAA Tournament field, the conference tournaments don’t mean as much. For example, it’s being projected that as many as seven teams from the Big 12 could get in to the “big dance”.  These days, conference tournaments are more about  teams getting a chance to pad their resumes and improve their NCAA seeding. Oh, and the conferences get to make some money in the process.

Which takes me back to the days when there was one tournament that mattered: The ACC Tournament. Names like Phil Ford, Wally Walker, Len Elmore, and David Thompson come flooding back into my memory when I think about those 3 tension-filled days of basketball, called by Jim Thacker & Billy Packer (and brought to you by Jefferson Pilot. I can even sing their jingle).  If you didn’t win the ACC Tournament, you didn’t go to the NCAA Tournament. Period.

So,  enjoy the wild shots, crazy finishes, and upsets as you watch your favorite conference tournament next week. But relax. Your team is probably in. And remember, even if they don’t make it to the NCAA dance…there’s always the NIT.

That’s it from the Booth…until next week, GO HORNETS!

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