Sunday, March 24, 2013

Track news for the week of March 24

Time once again for your track news of the week...
  • Practice conflicts
 College Park's lacrosse teams are hosting games, and we've already felt the sting of losing our practice field to them once this season. They have some more home games overlapping our practice times this spring. Keep checking the Schedule page, or follow @ctktrack on Twitter on your smartphone for from-the-field updates.

Our backup meeting location is the large grassy area behind the baseball fields. If there's a game going in the stadium, look for me or the coaches around the College Park blacktop area/basketball courts, directing traffic.
  • Meet #2 complete
Hope everyone who attended our second league meet had a good time and appreciated the fantastic weather out at the track. I ordered that special, just for you.

The league properly calls these "practice" meets since they are a chance for the various teams in our section to run against each other, and for parents to practice volunteer jobs. The real purpose of the meets is to get the kids together for fun and athleticism, not to count ribbons or stress about finishing first. I think there were fewer glitches overall this week as everyone settled in to the meet routine.
  •  Ribbons from Meet #1
I have them in my possession, and I'll get them to the coaches to pass out after practice. Personal best ribbons are due back in shortly, and may show up at the same practice. If I get ambitious, unclaimed ribbons from last season will also make an appearance at an upcoming practice.

Out of the 300+ results from the first meets (ours and two others), there were a couple of issues as the data-entry staff valiantly tried to decipher names, times, and places. If your athlete receives the wrong (or no) ribbon from an event, please don't take it as a personal slight. I can guarantee that after a season or two, the actual physical award will be forgotten in a shoe box in the back of a closet or jammed into a dresser drawer.

I don't have a lot of control over the regular meet ribbons -- they're delivered to me pre-printed and counted into bundles. I do figure out the personal bests, though, so if I've goofed, please let me know.

Results are linked on the Schedule page, next to the meets. There's the raw spreadsheets as a Google document, and a link to where you can check how your athlete has progressed over the season on their own individual pages:
  •  Easter, spring break, and the relay meet
There are no CYO activities over the Easter weekend, so:

- No practice this Thursday, March 28, and
- No meet on this Saturday, March 30

Many families are heading out for spring break. There's no need to notify me or the coaches -- have a great time and we'll see you when you return.

If you are still around, we're deciding what the practices will look like next week. I'll send an email around about it, and will keep the schedule page on the web site updated.

I also hope that you'll come to the relay meet on April 6, which is my favorite meet of the season. I'll talk more about that next week. If you're in town, it's not to be missed.
  • Eligibility for the Qualifying Meet on April 27
Saturday was the second of our four practice meets, and on April 27 we start the championship meets, starting with the Qualifying Meet. All eligible athletes may compete in that meet, to try and earn a spot in the Sectionals the week following.

How is an athlete eligible? By competing at least two of the practice meets during the season. (The relay meet does not count.) That means that to be allowed to compete on April 27, your athlete must have attended and competed in two of the meets held March 16, March 23, April 13, and April 20.

Athletes who compete and place in the Qualifying meet will move on to the Sectional the week following. Athletes who don't place are still welcome and encouraged to come to practice. I'll talk more about the championships after Easter.
  • First Communion conflicts
Inevitably, many of our second-graders will have schedule conflicts as they prepare for their First Communion. Although it should go without saying, please prioritize holy sacraments above track meets. If your second-grader enjoyed track that much this year, then by all means sign him or her up again next season. The world will not end because they didn't throw a softball on Saturday or had to miss being on a relay team. (This applies to older siblings, too, though they may be harder to convince.)
  • League policy on volunteering
I gather through the CYO grapevine that some parishes are having trouble getting volunteers to work at meets. Not ours, I'm happy to report, but it's been enough of an issue that the league coordinators sent out an email with the official policy about parent volunteers. I've posted it on our site's "Volunteers" page:

Please read this over. If you have not volunteered for any jobs this season, not only will you lose your $50 deposit, but you are also preventing your athlete from competing in the Qualifying meet and the championships. Yikes.

You should not think of the $50 deposit as a volunteer "buy-out" amount: our team doesn't offer buy-outs. A full meet has about 160 jobs to fill every Saturday, including the away-side 50m/100m races. As hosts we should never be short of someone willing to help. To date we've gone over our team commitments for both meets, but we only have three to go, and the late-season meets are looking short on CTK/SC/SS families. I really, really don't want to disqualify any of our athletes over this. Please come help out at meets.
  • Lost and Found
I think Saturday's meet easily doubled the amount of left-behind clothing and gear that I already have in my possession. Does any of it belong to your family? I will not be sad at all to remove it from my living room.

Please tell me if something looks familiar and I can pack it for practice. The CTK Lost & Found Spring 2013 Collection is now too large for me to bring in its entirety, but I can assure you it contains the latest in youth athletic fashions and water-toting accessories, in a variety of sizes and styles.

I'll keep harvesting the leftovers after meets, and you'll get to see the entire line at the end-of-season picnic in June. Anything unclaimed after the picnic goes off to Goodwill to find new owners.


That's all for this shortened week. I'll see you at the track.

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