Shane Meling joins the MileSplit San Antonio Metropolitan coverage team this track and field season. Meling will supplement the video/content team and provide editorial, streaming, and results support
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- As a former collegiate sports information director, I am used to writing about others so it will be a change to write about myself. To start off with, my name is Shane Meling and I have joined the MileSplit team in the San Antonio Metro role.
I am excited to be able to highlight the fantastic track and cross country teams, athletes and coaches in the San Antonio area. It would seem that my work experiences have perfectly prepared me for this position. First of all, I worked in college sports information for 15 years, including four at NCAA Division I University of the Incarnate Word and four at NCAA Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville. In each case I was able to work closely with two excellent head coaches, Derek Riedel at UIW and Ryan Dall at A&M-Kingsville. During that time, I was able to cover five Lone Star Conference meets, three Southland Conference meets and four NCAA Division II national meets.
After working in college sports, I made the decision to move to the high school ranks after my son, Eddie, was born. I was fortunate enough to get hired at Smithson Valley High School as a math teacher, girls basketball coach and track & field coach in 2016. During my six years at SV, I was able to work under two outstanding head coaches, Brittany Lanehart and Bren Jones. I coached the long and triple jumps in addition to helping with the running events. We had a number of strong teams, and we won a district title in each of the last three years that they were competed.
I enjoyed coaching and teaching but realized that my son needed me to be home for him after school so I decided to step away from the teaching and coaching positions. It was a very hard decision, but it has been a real blessing for my family. It also led to me sending an email to MileSplit to see if they could use some help covering track meets. Will Grundy contacted me to let me know that the San Antonio Metro position was open and that I would be a great fit.
My background in track and field goes back to the late 1980's when my dad and uncle would take me to track meets as a kid. I vividly remember going to the Illinois state meet a few times and I always loved listening to my dad and uncle talk about all the great athletes we were going to see and all the ones they had watched or competed against when they were in high school. The first high school track athlete I remember is Greg Fenza, a pole vaulter from Ottawa (Ill.) Township High School. I saw him win the state title and then he gave me an ice cream bar because we were sitting with his coaches and the rest of his team.
My family moved to Western Pennsylvania when I was in fifth grade and within a couple of years my dad became a track coach at Slippery Rock High School and he is still the head coach there. I did not join the track or cross country teams until my junior year because I had played baseball my first two years. I continued my track career at Grove City College, an NCAA Division III school. I was an above average high school distance runner and then was a high jumper and middle-distance runner for three conference championship college teams.
I know you are probably thinking that high jumper and middle-distance runner do not go together, and you would be right. However, basketball was my best sport, and I went to Grove City to play basketball first. When I realized that I missed being on the track team, I went out my sophomore year and was able to contribute to our team. I was part of the winning 4x400-meter relay team and placed in the 1500 meters and high jump my senior year in the President's Athletic Conference.
Hopefully, that gives everyone some background on why I want to cover high school cross country and track and field. My goal is to provide great coverage for all the different levels and show the rest of Texas what I already know, San Antonio has a lot to offer!