Sunday, April 29, 2012

Track News for April 29, 2012

* Qualifying Meet

Well, we survived. I know that took a long time to run, but we had to be extra careful with the results, and we're not allowed to take our usual shortcuts. It looks like everyone had a good time, and got properly sunburned. Thanks to all the volunteers who did bonus shifts, and to those who watched their "short" afternoon shift carry on... and on... and on...

The results will take a little bit more time to come out because we're into championships now. Please remember that placement is done overall in an event, regardless of the number of heats. That is, all the heats in a grade are scored together. I'm attending a meeting Monday night to go over the preliminary results with the other coordinators in our section, and to plan for next Saturday. If you've notified me that you won't be able to make the Sectional, we'll take this into account -- another athlete may get to move up and compete.

* Sectional Meet

This Friday night, May 4th, we'll have the the 800m and 1600m events at DVC. If your athlete happened to qualify in both, then they need to pick one of the events for competition. This is a diocese rule, and out of my hands. We had a lot of milers on Saturday, and not so many in the 800m. It's going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Update:  I have this incorrect: only the 1600m runs the night before at DVC. The 800m is run as usual on Saturday. Athletes who place in both will choose after the Sectional.

All other events run the next day, Saturday the 5th, down at Granada High in Livermore. Yes, Livermore. We've been spoiled this year by being rained out of nice, close locations. Granada is special, though, because they have a "FAT" system (Fully Automated Timing) which theoretically speeds a meet along by eliminating the finish-line dance of sticks, timers, judges, magic markers, misfires, and other excitement. When it's working smoothly, it's a spectacle to behold: your athlete's times show up on the scoreboard and everything. I'll write up a special Sectional meet letter for later in the week.

Parents who are fortunate enough to see their athlete place into the Sectional should expect a polite tap on the shoulder from our volunteer coordinators about doing up a volunteer job. The league handles most of the big jobs, and they mostly need bodies to help shuffle kids to their proper places, or to read measuring tapes. Don't worry: you can do it.

If you're heading to Granada, be aware that the Portola Ave exit no longer exists. Please check directions in advance, and make sure your GPS systems are up to date. We have directions on the team site as well:

* Practices

Even if you didn't qualify, please feel free to keep coming to practice. The attendance numbers historically drop off after the Qualifying as athletes hang up their running shoes and drift off into other commitments, but we're still at College Park twice a week right up through May 10th. And as an added enticement...

* Ribbons

We were late in getting them from last week's meet, but they're now in the sorter's hands, and should be back to me soon. Also, I've got personal best ribbons figured out from the 21st which need to go to our other sorter, and I'm sure I'll have more personal bests for this Saturday's results. We track personal bests for individual events all the way through the season, and times set this season are used for comparison for next year's first meet.

* Results

I've gotten all the results up online except for the relay meet, which I'll do this week. Everything is posted online with links from our schedule page:

I see lots of improvements even in this weird, wet season. Qualifying is nice, but growth is better. That's what we're about.

* Picnic

Have you got it marked on the calendar? The annual team awards picnic potluck is Saturday, June 2nd at Waterfront Park in Martinez. Numerous awards are handed out to athletes and volunteers, we say farewell to the eighth graders, thank-you to the coaches, and most importantly, try to reunite your kids with all their lost stuff. I have one of those big black meet boxes literally overflowing with clothes and shoes (!) left over from practices and meets. Come for the picnic, stay for the free clothes -- anything unclaimed at the end of the picnic is fair game, and trust me, there's a lot of nice stuff in the pile. I have dressed my kids in warmup gear for years thanks to the mighty CTK Lost & Found.

The team will supply drinks, charcoal, grills, and a place to eat. You bring something to share, something to grill for your family, and any utensils, plates, napkins etc. that you'll need. The last time I was at Waterfront park it was gusty and bright, so please plan accordingly.

* Thanks

Since this may be the end of the season for many of you (but not the end of my emails!) I just wanted to say thanks to everyone: to the parent volunteers who jumped in to do an unfamiliar job because they looked unoccupied, to the coaches and assistants for devoting their weeknights and weekends to trying to wrangle nearly 200 children into some sort of order, and to the athletes themselves for trying hard and having fun. I had some big shoes to fill this year as coordinator, and it has been a genuine pleasure. I won't be sad to turn in all the meet gear that's piled on my porch, but I'm already looking forward to next season. Thanks, everyone.

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