Sunday, March 10, 2013

Track news for the week of March 10

Hello again everyone, here's your news of the week...
  • Mini-meet, the aftermath
I hope those of you who were able to attend Saturday's mini-meet had a good time, and feel more comfortable about how our meets work. With relays added back in and more athletes on the track, things won't move quite as fast as they did on Saturday, but the layout and operation is the same.

We do add in an "away-side" shift for the 50m and 100m races, so we can utilize both sides of the track and cut about an hour from our end time. Announcements at the meet will let you know which group (girls or boys) will run their short sprints on the home side of the track that day, and which group gets to run the away-side.

Special thanks to all the unintentional double-shifters and the bonus volunteers that stepped up to fill in. We quite honestly could not have done it without you. And my everlasting gratitude goes to all the families new and returning who were thrust into an unfamiliar job and handled it with grace and good humor.
  • For next time...
 A few things I noticed on Saturday (because I forgot to remind everyone)...

- Absolutely no food or drinks are allowed on the turf or track at any of our meets. This is to protect the surfaces from the sort of damage that only a stomped-on fruit roll-up can cause. The school booster parents thank you in advance.

Plain, unadulterated water is the only thing allowed on the track or turf. This applies to both athletes and adults, even to coordinators desperate for a refreshing mid-meet iced coffee. All food and drink has to be consumed in the stands, with trash and recycling going into the appropriate cans afterward.

- It was plenty warm on the field, and doing a job is thirsty work. Don't forget to pack water for yourself as well as for your athletes. I went through three full bottles myself. Wear sunscreen and a good hat, and dress in layers. Ygnacio Valley High can be very windy and you may experience a full range of climates at a single meet.

- If you bring an umbrella or a pop-up tent to a meet, you're welcome to set it up in the stands, provided that you do this securely -- lots of bungee cords -- and so that it doesn't block anyone's view. The back rows of the stands usually get claimed quickly for exactly this reason.

- If you're working a field event job, make sure that you complete the sheets before you close for the day. This typically means making sure that you've written each athlete's best mark on the sheet (highest jump or farthest throw) and ranked the athletes within their grade. One of our proofreaders stayed well past the end of Saturday's meet to fill in the gaps one some of the field event sheets.
  • Results from the Mini Meet
For league meets, there's a swarm of data-entry people that spin all those colorful pieces of paper into data gold. Results go online at, and parents and coaches pore over them in detail.

For the mini meet... it's just me. I'm planning on scanning the result sheets and placing them online sometime early this week for your perusal. If anyone wants to key them in, I won't stop you, but this meet was for fun and experience, and not for results or ribbons.
  •  Phantom athletes
That is, runners from our team not appearing on the official roster. If you have such an athlete -- they didn't have a pre-printed sticker on Saturday, for instance -- then you need to contact me at once at and complete your registration. I have already supplied a roster to the league, and this is used for all record keeping and for handing out awards. I have to get updates to them in quickly.

Our full team roster as of March 10 is on the web site:

(Firefox users: you may need to download the file to your computer to read it.)

Please look this over for spelling of names, and especially for any athletes who may have slipped through the administrative cracks. If I don't notify the league about them, then those athletes don't effectively exist.
  • Practice end-time time change
With the switch to Daylight Savings Time, we can extend practice to our full allotted time. Starting this week and continuing through the end of the season, practices are every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00-6:30pm.
  • Need a uniform?
Our super-sorter Denise Burkhart still has lots of uniform shirts and team sweatshirts to hand out: she's planning to be at practice on Tuesday if we have good weather. Look for her at a table right at the base of the steps down from the parking lot. You should recognize the familiar red, blue, and yellow colors of our three parishes among the heaps of t-shirts.

Pre-ordered shirts and sweats should all be ready to go to their new owners, and we've got some extras for sale, too. Please make Denise happy by picking up your things so she doesn't have to haul them back home!
  • Meet #1 at Ygnacio Valley High, Saturday March 16
Out first real league meet is this Saturday at Ygnacio Valley High. The first event should start 9:30am, and due to an agreement with the neighborhood around YVH, no athletes may be in the stadium prior to 9:00am.

We have a 9:30 start time, so:

* Setup crew and volunteer sign-in should be on site and ready to start at 8:30am
* First shift and athletes should arrive by 9:00am

I know that the setup crew will very likely have their own athletes with them. I will be there at setup, so let's plan to meet in the parking lot near the stadium gate and we'll figure out what we're going to do.

I am working on getting the volunteer assignments together for this meet.
  • Rent-a-student at Ygnacio Valley
Remember that you may hire a high school student from YVH to work your shift(s) for you at this meet, for $25 per shift. All money collected helps the YVH students pay their own league fees, which are significant.

If you want to take advantage of it, please hand me an envelope at practice with your name on it, the date of the meet, and the fees inside in either cash or a check made out to "CTK CYO Track" and I'll give you credit for the shift. Please do this as soon as possible. I need to give a count to Ygnacio Valley High.
  • Need to sign up for volunteer time?
If you joined the team after February 11, you probably have not signed up for volunteer time.

I'm trying an experiment: there's a new form up on the team site on the "Volunteers" page that you can complete to request jobs at meets:

Remember that we're asking families to work at least five times during the regular season. Working less than the minimum forfeits your deposit, but working more earns you a chance in our end-of-season prize drawing. You can always double up at a meet with a spouse or other adult -- each working a shift -- or power through the day by working both first and second shifts.

You may also come to the volunteer sign-in table at the meets and see if there are any openings that day. We had many such standby volunteers at the mini meet, and I believe we found jobs for all of them in the end.

If you do volunteer, you must sign in with the volunteer check-in person to get credit for a shift, and you must wear one of the volunteer stickers to prevent being ushered off the track. Sign-ins are at the tables at the finish line.


That's more than enough for this week -- see you on the track!

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