While covering K-State’s football game against Oklahoma State on October 3, 2015, I remembered shooting another Oklahoma State athlete years earlier.
I was in Lincoln, Nebraska to cover K-State during the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Ed Weir Stadium on May 11-13, 2007. It was humid and hot (87 degrees) at the start of the men’s 10,000 meter run on the night of May 11. David Jankowski, a junior runner for Oklahoma State, was competing in the event.
The northeast corner of Nebraska’s enormous football venue, Memorial Stadium, had cast a shadow across the southwest corner of Ed Weir Stadium which provided some nice, soft light as the athletes exited turn four towards the front stretch.
The men’s 10,000 meter run is 6.2 miles or 25 laps around the track so the event can last 30 minutes which is a long run in the heat. Nebraska athletic trainers had set up a folding table in the shadow topped with paper cups full of water so runners could keep themselves hydrated during the race. After several laps, the track was littered with discarded cups. I wanted to make an image of the runners stepping over the trash so I waited for the leaders to come around the corner.
David Jankowski, one of the front runners, grabbed a cup of water from the table and splashed his face with it as he headed for the finish line. I thought it made a unique image. Jankowski finished in 5th place with a time of 30:56.76.
Eight years later, Jankowski is a professional distance runner in Portland, Oregon.