Sunday, March 11, 2012

Track News for March 11, 2012

Hello track families, here's the news of the week.

* Mini Meet

I think Saturday's meet went very, very well: we ended on time, had very few problems, and got a lot of kids tired and sunburned. That's a job well done in my book. A huge thanks to all the volunteers -- scheduled, drop-in, and accidental second-shifters -- and to the coaches for helping the circus run so smoothly.

I am getting all the results from the meet keyed in to the computer. During the season, this is handed off to a crack team of data-entry wizards, but for the mini-meet, you're going to have to
be satisfied with me. Two items about the results:

* Only compare your athlete's times or distance to other athletes in the same gender and grade. Yesterday was a small meet -- if you can believe that -- and we ran many "combined" heats of multiple grades to make best use of the track. Your athlete's results only counts against their peers, no matter who else they were sharing the track with at the time.

* There are the usual amount of glitches and surprises in the results, so please remember again that this meet was just for our own practice. Do not make plans for the 2020 Olympics based on your child's numbers from Saturday.

If you're new this season, you can visit our team's page on to see past results and records for all the athletes dating all the way back to the 2007 season, when we first started using the site.

Due to the way works, all our athletes are reported as "CTK" regardless of their actual parish. Once I learn how to massage our mini-meet results, they will appear on this site as well.

* Radio Missing

I think one of our volunteers walked off with a Motorola family radio after the meet on Saturday, though I haven't checked every meet box to see if it's hiding somewhere. Please make sure that it gets back to me or to a coach at practice so I can put it back in our kit. Otherwise, some field event crew will be reduced to using polite hand signals to communicate next Saturday.

* Uniforms

I still have some t-shirts earmarked for our athletes. I will go through the box and send email around about them. We also unearthed a cache of new, extra shirts in case you have a desire to buy a second one, or in case your kids suddenly grow a foot.

The sweatshirts are almost completely sold out! This is fantastic news: I'm happy that everyone likes them so much. I think I have a couple that belong to athletes as well. If you missed your chance to get one, I am willing to place another order with our printer, as long as we can make a minimum number. Printing and delivery time was about two weeks, and we're keeping the price at $30.

* Practices

We make the most of the switch to Daylight Savings time by extending all future practices until 6:30pm. This is the schedule for the remainder of the season.

* Swim Meet?

The weather forecast looks menacing this week. Remember to check the web site for weather-related cancellations on practice days and meet days, too. Think sunny thoughts for Saturday.

* Meet #1

This Saturday's meet is at Diablo Valley College, right across the street from our practice field. Come in on the Viking Drive side of DVC, as if you're going to practice, but turn into the DVC lots instead.

Setup volunteers need to be at the track and ready to work at 8am, everyone else arrives by 8:30am for the first gun at 9:00am. If you are working the first shift at the meet, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to arrive, find parking, and get down to the field: there will be a crowd at the signup table.

Athletes will be competing for ribbons at this meet, and returning athletes will try to earn some of the coveted gold "Personal Best" ribbons. All ribbons will be handed out at practices, and results will be posted in the same way as the mini-meet.

* Rent-a-Student

Now that you're all veterans of a track meet ("I survived mini-meet 2012!") I'm going to tell you how you can skip out on future jobs without penalty! A few years ago, my predecessor and the track coach at Ygnacio Valley High worked out a "rent-a-student" program, where families could hire a high school athlete to work their assigned shift at a meet. Proceeds go right to the track team, primarily to pay for their many league fees.

A quick peek at the College Park flyer for this year shows that each athlete must pay $200 just to be on the team, plus $50 transportation fees, plus $130-$205 for "participation fees" (uniform and team fees.) Other schools have a similar fee structure, and so, Rent-a-Student was born.

For $25 per shift, you may hire a student to work for you at a meet. This does not come out of your volunteer deposit. You can think of it as a donation that gives you a chance to sit in the stands and help out our struggling school athletics programs at the same time.

We are still seeing if we can arrange this with the College Park athletes for our DVC-based meet, but this program is established at Ygnacio Valley High, which clever families will notice is our meet location many times this season. Very clever families can even choose to rent-a-student for a meet that they themselves won't be able to attend (like the relay meet, during spring break.)

The one restriction I put on this is that you do not buy out if you are in a "head" job -- head timer, head clerk, head high-jump, starter, etc.. We need your expertise on the field. But students make excellent long-jump helpers, softball throw workers, shepherds, and more.

If this is appealing to you, you need to do the following:
  1. Send a note to me or Katy Simpson informing us of the meet date and job that you are scheduled to work: we will mark it on the master sheet. Do this soon so we can try to reserve a replacement for you.
  2. If we can arrange it, then get $25 to me in cash or check made out to "CTK CYO" before the meet date. Handing it to me at practice is fine, though make sure I know who you are (envelopes with your name on them are appreciated.)
  3. On Saturday, sit back and enjoy the meet from the stands.

You are not at all required to participate in this program, but I know the schools appreciate your support.

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