Good but unusable

I just hate it when one of my best shots of the day turns out to be unusable.

On May 16 I covered the CIF San Joaquin Section Track and Field trials at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove. A track meet isn’t just a single event but several with more than one happening at the same time. A section meet has teams from all over the region, many outside of The Record’s coverage area. We try to focus on our own local athletes.

The 400 meter heats were about to start so I positioned myself just outside of the track so I could get shots of the runners rounding the 3rd turn with a long 200-400mm telephoto zoom lens. Fortunately, my spot also provided a good view of the boys high jump, which was already in progress.

I’ve been covering the schools long enough that I know most of the team colors: Lincoln and Lodi are red, Edison, maroon, Bear Creek bright blue. I was focused on the start of the 400 when out of the corner of my eye I see a flash of purple on the young man making an attempt in the high jump. To me that meant he must be from Tokay High School in Lodi which purple is the school’s color. I wheeled the lens from the track towards the jump. I barely got my shots of as he jumped. A quick chimp (review of the camera’s monitor) revealed the athlete’s perfect curl over the bar in a graceful arc. The picture even had the sign that showed the height at which he was jumping, 5’-9”. It was one of my best shots of the day. Satisfied with the shot I moved on to the other events.

But later when I took a closer look at the white lettering across the jumper’s chest it didn’t read “Tokay” but rather “Franklin.” Funny, I thought to myself, Franklin’s colors are yellow and green. Then it dawned me: This athlete was from Franklin of Elk Grove who’s colors are identical to Tokay’s.

I went back and shot more of the high jump and got shots of a Stagg athlete and even a Tokay jumper (yes, I did double check). But the best shot turned out to be one I couldn’t use.

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