Idaho track and field assistant coach Cathleen Cawley traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica, a couple weeks ago — but it wasn’t for vacation. It was all business.
Cawley was selected as the team manager for the women’s USA track and field team at the NACAC Senior Area Championships Aug. 7-9.
“It was really fun getting to go over there and travel around and be a part of and help support Team USA,” Cawley said. “We had a good time. There was a good mix of athletes.”
Cawley said she has been applying for a few years for the position and was an alternate this year. She wasn’t given much notice that she would be taking the trip to Costa Rica.
“I only found out about a month ahead of time,” Cawley said. “So I flew right out to the USA Championships and started helping with team processing and starting to serve the organization in that manner right there ahead of the trip. It was really exciting to get that opportunity.”
Cawley said her job title involved a lot of duties. She said she planned the daily schedule, found out if there were going to be team meetings that day and ran those meetings and handled the transportation and meals.
While at the track and field meet, Cawley said the head manager made sure the athletes got to the first call room on time.
Other than that, Cawley said the rest of the job is problem-solving. She said her responsibility was to solve problems from the hotel to the track and field meet and anywhere in between.
Overall, Cawley said she tried to take stress off people and make the experience a good one for everyone involved.
“It sounded like it was a great trip,” Idaho track and field and cross country coach Tim Cawley said. “I think she was pretty tired coming back from it because I think she averaged about four or five hours a night of sleep. You get through the day and then all things change for the next day so you have everything as organized as you can but then you’re starting all over again with half of it. You go through and then you reorganize for the next day and get things going.”
Tim said it was good to attract national attention to Idaho.
“That’s one of our goals is to try and get as much national exposure as we can for Idaho and kind of keep growing the name, growing the reputation and kind of build it from there,” Tim said. “I think anytime you have someone at the international level like that, that’s not a bad thing. It’s usually good to have those accolades.”
Cathleen said a couple Idaho alumni competed at the event, including Russ Winger. She said Winger won the men’s discus competition.
Cathleen said she didn’t get to venture too much into the city because she was so busy with her duties but she said the locals are generous.
“I was really impressed by the local culture and the people,” Cathleen said. “They were so helpful and so amazing so that was a really nice experience. It was top notch.”
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @CabezaGarrett