An Afternoon In The Life Of A Sports Writer


Nate McMullen tries his hand at interviewing and note-taking with Bo Althoff  during his job shadow experience with Roundup sports editor Max Foster.

Nate McMullen tries his hand at interviewing and note-taking with Bo Althoff during his job shadow experience with Roundup sports editor Max Foster. Photo by Max Foster. |

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As a 7th-grader at Rim Country Middle School, part of the career exploration class curriculum is to do a job shadow in a field of work that interests me. I chose to job shadow Max Foster, as I enjoy both writing and sports. My job shadow was very interesting, as I was allowed to see all of the newspaper production tricks and help Foster with a newspaper article. Foster also had me interview Bo Althoff, the current PHS pole-vaulting coach.

Roundup: How did you get interested in pole-vaulting?

Althoff: When I was 12, I was on a club track team, and I knew John Martin, one of the high school pole-vaulters. He convinced me to try pole-vaulting and I was hooked.

Roundup: Can you still pole-vault?

Althoff: No, I’m too old.

Roundup: How long have you been pole-vaulting?

Althoff: Ever since I was 12 years old.

Roundup: What does it take to be a good pole-vaulter?

Althoff: Well, you have to have athletic ability, but more than anything a positive attitude.

Roundup: How is coaching different from actually pole-vaulting?

Althoff: As a coach, you have to find creative ways to explain what to do and how to fix things. As a vaulter, you have to train hard, but it is mostly just doing what the coach tells you to.

Roundup: What was your record for pole-vaulting?

Althoff: My record was 16-feet, 5-3/4-inches, but it was originally thought to be 16-feet, 6-inches. However, when they measured it, it turned out to be only 16-feet, 5-3/4-inches.

As I learned from my interview with Althoff, not only is he an incredible athlete, but he is a very interesting man as well.

My job shadowing experience with Foster was very memorable and has encouraged me to continue writing and to consider a job in this field in the future.

I want to thank Foster and Althoff for the wonderful experience.

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