• 2022 Nike Pre Classic: Covering female athletes well, by Sam Fariss for RunBlogRun

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    This is Sam Fariss's second piece for RunBlogRun on the 2022 Nike Pre Classic. She writes about a subject close to her heart, covering female athletes in the sport of track & field.

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    Tara Davis, 2022 Nike Pre Classic presser, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

    Covering female athletes well
    By Sam Fariss


    Female athletes have long gone undercovered and underrepresented in the world of sports. Track and field female athletes have a seemingly more difficult time making their voices heard due to lack of or minimal coverage by the media.

    Throughout the weekend of the Prefontaine Classic, I asked female athletes competing in the meet what we, as members of the media, can do better. Here are some of their answers:

    "I think just keep telling their stories, ya know, and I mean it helps when even just you asking me about that topic of being a woman at Oregon," Raevyn Rogers said. "There are so many things that are relatable that you'll be able to get from me and contribute to what you already know about me."

    Rogers was a track and field athlete, arguably a star, at the University of Oregon and always feels the love and support when she returns to Hayward Field.

    Fellow Duck alum, Jenna Prandini shared similar sentiments when we spoke.

    "Just keep promoting the sport," Prandini said. "Keep elevating the women that are participating in it and encouraging the youth to keep going and following their dreams."

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    Jenna Prandini, photo by Kevin Morris/ @kevmofoto

    Fans of track and field, or sports in general, have long been unsatisfied with the coverage of the sport. There aren't enough camera angles or the 10k is taking too long and they are missing other events that are occurring or they struggle to find the broadcast of the meets, to begin with.

    "Pull out the cameras. Just pull out the cameras. Post it," Tara Davis said. "The more eyes, the better we do kinda thing. Just pull it out, pull out the cameras and just shed light on us."

    Davis, who had just finished giving a pep talk to 17-year-old Shawnti Jackson also touched on how important it is for the athletes to empower the women around them.

    "She has so much growth ahead of her that she's still in high school. It's cool that I have that kinda power but I don't wanna abuse, I wanna be able to share my word and share my experience with the other kids," Davis said.

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    Tara Davis, 2022 Nike Pre Classic, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

    As the sport of track and field continues to grow, the media must keep up the pace by creating more access and sharing more stories - and doing these things well.
     
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