Summer Days

7 07 2010

July 6, 2010

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything I know… there’s no real excuse for the huge absence of over a month… although my computer was out of commission for the past several weeks.

Anyhow, I have been staying quite busy with the world of sports journalism.  As a whole the local sports world has cut-down tremendously with the end of the high school and collegiate sports seasons; however I have stayed busy with Legion Baseball, Missoula Osprey minor league baseball, as well as other odds and ends.

One of those more interesting odds and ends took place this past weekend as Missoula hosted this year’s 2010 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking National Championships.  I spent three days covering the event and had a great time.  The atmosphere of fans and participants was a unique glimpse of the world of alternate and Olympic sports.  The best kayakers in the nation competed at the event and I had the opportunity to meet and interview the entire Jackson family (Eric Jackson being a former world champion, daughter Emily Jackson being a defending national champion, and son Dane Jackson tearing it up over the weekend and qualifying for next year’s Kayaking World Cup in Germany in multiple events).  I learned the differences of freestyle moves such as the space godzilla, lunar orbit, air screw, mcnasty, and others.

In the more mainstream sporting world, the Missoula Osprey season is over a couple weeks underway.  I’ve had the pleasure to attend this past four game series, which the split against the Helena Brewers.  The team is off to a rocky start (6-10) but shows plenty of promise to turn it around.

I had the pleasure to interview two Osprey players today on their individual starts to the season as well as the team’s start.  They happened to be the pitcher-catcher brother combination of Robby and Richie Rowland.  Richie has had a hot bat with 3 home runs in his last four games along with a 13-game hit streak and a batting average of .451, tops in the Pioneer League.  Robby meanwhile had a strong outing on the mound Monday night, going 3 innings and giving up just one run on two hits.   The two were great guys to talk to and both were very optimistic about the team improving over the next few weeks… they’ll have their work cut out for them as they now embark on a 6-game road-trip against Billings and then Great Falls.

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Elite Field Events Showcase

6 06 2010

June 5, 2010

I had the pleasure to witness some world-class athletic competition today right here in Missoula.  The 2nd annual elite field events showcase took place this afternoon at Dornblaser Field.

The event is designed to promote track and field in Montana and it hosted some of the top athletes in the world in the events of women’s pole vault, men’s javelin and men’s discus.

It was a real treat to cover these field stars who were vaulting 15 feet, throwing discs nearly 200 feet and throwing javelins over 260 feet

Florida State alum Lacy Janson won the first event in women’s pole vault by clearing 15 feet 1 inch.  Also competing were Montana products in Melinda Owens (Polson) and K.C. Dahlgren (Missoula Big Sky).

2-time Olympian Vikas Gowda took home first in the discus with a throw of just over 199 feet.  In javelin it was a great day for former Georgia Bulldog Chris Hill; Hill posted the top four throws in the event, including a winning toss of 262 feet… that throw going against a small breeze I might add.

It was a great event and for the first time in days the weather was actually very accommodating with sun and warmth all day.  It’s definitely an awesome opportunity to see world class athletes and Olympians compete, the showcase plans to add another event next year.