Most track and field enthusiasts would probably admit their sport is not the most spectator friendly.
Events are held in various locations within or outside a stadium, and it's difficult to gain a complete knowledge of how a meet is unfolding while sitting in the bleachers.
That shouldn't deter anyone from wandering over to Mansion Park this evening to catch some of the action from the District 6 Class AAA Track and Field Championships.
The athleticism on display should be top-notch.
The Altoona boys are the dominant team in the district again, and they possess some of the best athletes to ever wear a Mountain Lion uniform.
Junior Brady Gehret is probably the most fluid runner this area has seen in some time. He was the top athlete in the state during the indoor season, and he has built upon his success in the outdoor season.
Because track and field athletes are only able to compete in four events, Gehret is forgoing possibly his best, the 400-meter dash, to concentrate on other events where he is top-seeded.
He'll have to drop one of these events: the 200-meter dash, the long jump, the triple jump, the 4-by-100 relay and the 4-by-400 relay. You get the feeling if he had a day to practice, he'd be a threat in the pole vault, too.
Altoona boys coach Mike Adams will have to strategize on how to maximize his talent to get the most athletes possible to next weekend's state meet. The Altoona boys should win the district title again, but Adams has his sights set on challenging for another outdoor state championship.
Senior Aaron Nadolsky will also be competing in his final meet at Mansion Park. His duel with State College's Alex Kenney in the 100 dash should be a treat. Nadolsky won in a photo finish at the Altoona Igloo Invitational, but Kenney won the 100 at the West Central Coaches Meet earlier this month.
Nadolsky, along with Gehret, will be a part of the Mountain Lions' two relays that placed in the top eight at the Penn Relays. The 4-by-400 will cap off the meet under the Mansion Park lights.
The Altoona boys also boast sophomore Wade Endress in the distance runs and junior Chris Carper in the hurdles.
The girls competition will also be intriguing with sprinter Kelly Davis, jumper Bethany Lender and hurdler Chelsea McClellan leading Altoona. The Lady Lions edged State College for the team title at the West Central Coaches Meet, but with less schools in the district meet, State's depth will become more of a factor.
Hollidaysburg has a chance for a few winners, too.
As with any high school competition, one never quite knows how things will unfold. A baton could be dropped, a hamstring could be pulled or an upset could occur.
But tonight's meet should definitely be worth the price of admission - which is, by the way, free.
Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.