Sunday, March 18, 2012

Track News for March 18, 2012

* Meet #1

Wow! I'm not sure how we managed it, but I think I only felt two or three sprinkles the entire time at Saturday's meet. I think the secret was holding a meet on St. Patrick's Day with St. Agnes and their shamrock-green uniforms. Special thanks to all the parents that worked extra or "surprise" shifts, the coaches I press-ganged into jobs, and the field event people that saw their simple single-shift jobs stretch well beyond. As the season progresses, everyone gets faster -- athletes, parents, and coordinators! -- and we see the meets run a little more smoothly.

 * Stormy Weather

Hopefully the heavy rain is behind us, or at least will fall on days when we're not out running. I check the forecasts carefully on the days of our events, but my prognostication powers sometimes let me down, and athletes and their families get a sample of the local liquid sunshine. If you feel the weather is too unpleasant/cold/wet for your athlete, you may make the choice to keep them home from practice, but we'd like advance notice if you plan to do the same for a meet -- especially if you are signed up to work a job! Thursday turned out to be surprisingly nice, with a glimpse of both a full rainbow and the high-school team returning from a trail run covered in mud. Track is a magical sport.

I can all but guarantee you that your athletes will fondly remember the meets where they got a little wet (or a lot!) "Remember that time we did relays and Jimmy ran through the puddle and lost his shoe? That was awesome!"

* Practices

Practice times are 5-6:30pm for the remainder of the season. While we wait for the track to clear at 5:00, please be sure to assemble in the central section of the stands. Now that we're in our meet season, there may be pre-practice announcements from the coaches or yours truly, and you certainly don't want to miss those.

With the longer practice, the coaches are starting to pass out "Starburst awards" to their athletes for a variety of reasons: good sportsmanship, trying a challenging event at a meet, showing extra hustle at practice... sometimes even just for showing up and running when it's less-than-ideal conditions outside.

We use the cool-down time at practice to hand out ribbons earned from prior meets and Starbursts. We'll start passing out ribbons once we get results back from the league's data-entry team.

* Personal Bests

I've ordered a huge stack of gold ribbons from the trophy store, and nothing would make me happier than to run out and have to order more. Returning athletes will start earning these based on their performance at Saturday's meet by comparing to prior seasons' results, and new athletes will be able to start earning them after next week's meet.

* Meet Life

A friendly reminder that adults who are not actively working a shift at any meet need to observe from the stands. Meet volunteers must be signed in and wearing one of our fashionable stickers. Everyone else needs to be off the field. We were pretty loose about this at early meets, but when we get to the diocese-run events, it's cause for athletes or even whole teams to be disqualified. The same applies to athletes: between events, they should clear the field area and head for the stands.

The league wants me to remind all athletes and coaches that pacing an athlete is not permitted: no running alongside your athlete or friend while they are competing. Coaches may certainly encourage athletes who are looking a little faded (or who stop!) but please don't run with them. Thanks.

Please keep all food and drink in the stands. You're sitting there anyway, right? Of course you are. The only edibles allowed on any turf and track surface is plain water. Sugary drinks and snack crumbs will ruin the surface of the field and our relationship with the people who own the facility.

* Meet Results

Results from the mini-meet are linked from our team schedule page as a multi-page Google document. You may need to download it to see all the events.

My next task is to get them posted to

Results for all future meets will be linked from this page when they are available.

* Upcoming Meets at YVHS

Our next round of meets are scheduled for Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. This facility is a little more exposed than College Park and DVC, so please make sure your athletes dress appropriately, anticipating windy conditions or bright sunshine, and often, both. Wearing outer layers is strongly encouraged. I was pleased to see so many of our new sweatshirts at DVC on Saturday, keeping everyone warm and looking stylish.

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