May 19, 2009
On the Road to San Angelo
Jared Verner, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
SAN ANGELO, Texas (12:03 a.m.) - We've arrived safely and ready to settle down in San Angelo after we left Maryville more than 17 hours ago. The coaches will go on a morning run tomorrow before heading to meetings at 10:30 a.m. while the athletes head to practice at Angelo State at 2:30 p.m.
ABILENE, Texas (9:52 p.m.) - After a late dinner at Patterson's Family Restaurant (the fish sandwich wasn't too bad), I added a 7-Eleven Slurpee on top for the trip to San Angelo. Just 85 miles to our hotel.
ANSON, Texas (8:15 p.m.) - We just saw a sign that said San Angelo is 112 miles. With that in mind, here are a few of my observations on my first road trip through Texas:
- Through Seymour, Texas, the landscape was largely ranching and wasn't good farmland. Once we got south of Seymour, the landscape turned into mostly cropland, which reminded me of just a flatter Missouri.
- It's true about high school football - the stadiums are much bigger and nicer when compared to similar-sized high schools in Missouri.
It's interesting to just observe the towns that we pass through and note the individual characteristics. For example, the town we just passed through, Anson, has a roundabout around their courthouse with the businesses on the square separated by a narrow strip of land. I thought it was a very unique setup, although I can't say I'm an expert on town squares.
Abilene is about 25 miles south, so we'll most likely be stopping for dinner as the sun continues to set in the west.
BURKBURNETT, Texas (6 p.m.) - Just crossed the Red River into Texas. Still roughly five hours away from San Angelo.
OKLAHOMA CITY (4:07 p.m.) - Finally got the photos posted from this afternoon's practice at Wichita State (click here to view the gallery). I was pleased with the hammer throw pictures since I was able to shoot a lot closer and in different angles than what I'll be able to in San Angelo.
Just under seven hours to San Angelo.
PERRY, Okla. (3:01 p.m.) - Just found out from Coach Tjeerdsma that Wichita State does not have football. The Shockers discontinued football after 1986 and now they just use Cessna Stadium for track and field and soccer. We were noticing it was odd to just have one goal post (on the north end).
In looking on Wichita State's web site, they can fill the 30,000 seats for track meets, and they still host the Kansas high school track championships.
BRAMAN, Okla. (2:30 p.m.) - "We're not in Kansas anymore" - Matt Pohren
Just over eight hours from San Angelo.
MULVANE, Kan. (2:14 p.m.) - Just wrapped up a wicked game of the ABC game with Ben McKim and Matt Pohren. After I got a late start trying to find a C, I was able to catch up to the rest of the gang at "J", and then I nailed it when we spotted a Jehovah's Witnesses. But then in the excitement, I yelled out the "I" in Baptist. Ben and Matt threw out my J, but I was able to catch back up when they got stuck at "Q".
Matt was able to take the lead when he saw "equipped" on the side of a truck, and was able to sell the deal when he saw a billboard for Isuzu. I came in second at "X", and after the fact realized that there are labeled exits along Interstate 35. Ben finished third at "Q".
WICHITA, Kan. (1:07 p.m.) - Just finished about a 30 minute practice/warm-up session at Wichita State's Cessna Stadium (not exactly the common community track). Kate Walter was able to get some throws in at their hammer facility and Anna O'Brien went for a 15-minute run through campus with the coaches. Emily Churchman, Bridget Kleine and Audrey Bailey stayed inside the stadium, and got a chance to practice on "real grass".
We also got a chance to peek inside their arena, which was right behind their football press box, and went past their baseball field, which was amazing. I didn't measure, but the baseball press box may be higher than the football press box.
We're on our way to grab a bite to eat before continuing the trip south. I was able to snap a few photos during practice, so I'll do my best to get them uploaded soon.
LEBO, Kan. (10:15 a.m.) - Stopped at the Petticoat Junction just off I-35 for a short break. Another 16 miles to Emporia, Kan., and then on towards Wichita.
Down to 10 and a half hours to San Angelo.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (9 a.m.) - Just crossed into Kansas. Only 11 and a half hours left.
We're planning on stopping around noon for lunch and about a 15 minute stretch/run...so we'll be looking for a community track as well as a place to eat.
MARYVILLE, Mo. (6:45 a.m.) - We're getting ready to take two of the three vehicles down to San Angelo, Texas, for the national championships. We've got four drivers divided among the 13-hour trip, counting me as one of them, so I get to look forward to at least a six-hour drive at some point today. Our third vehicle won't be leaving until this afternoon so those student-athletes who are in May classes don't miss any more class meetings than they have to.
This is the second trip for a Northwest team to San Angelo in the last four years. The first being the football team in 2005 when they upset the Rams in the first round of the playoffs in the stadium that sits just south of where the track team will be competing.
We're hopefully going to be seeing blogs from almost everyone, which includes seven athletes and five coaches during the next 3-4 days for the championships. I just got my cell phone and computer to pair back up again so I can have internet access en route, so hopefully we'll be able to keep you updated on our progress as we make our way south.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s with clear and partly cloudy skies, so I got all my shorts packed (although I forgot the sunblock).
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