Sunday, February 23, 2014

Track news for the week of February 23

Practice from 5-6pm this week, weather permitting

Assuming we're not getting a soaking, practice will go until 6pm this week. Check the team web site or @ctktrack on Twitter for a 4pm update if it's looking stormy outside.

War Path invitational, Saturday March 8, Ygnacio Valley High School

It's coming up fast! This is our first year attending this all-comers meet, to give both athletes and parents a chance to experience a track meet. This is a just-for-fun event, and results aren't recorded or counted.

Here's a copy of the information sheet I had at signups:

Watch for an email about this soon. I hope you'll be able to join us.

Uniform details

I've placed the order for shirts and sweatshirts with the printer. Once they arrive and are sorted out, we'll get them to you, very likely at a practice.

Athletes need to wear their t-shirts at meets, but they don't need to wear them at practice unless they want to. Black shorts are the other part of our meet uniform: leftover soccer shorts are fine. A parent reminded me that AYSO added fashionable go-faster stripes to their shorts, and that's OK.

You don't need special running shorts, and track pants or sweats are encouraged at cold meets. The t-shirt is the critical piece.

Any "vintage" shot putters?

You may have noticed some athletes doing shot put work at the south end of College Park's field. Coach Pete wants to know if any team parents have shot put experience and would be willing to lend a hand during practices. If so, please send both Pete and I an email, or find me in the stands.

Our email information is on the coaches page:

Even if you're haven't stepped in the ring in ages, any experience you can offer is welcome, and you'll help Pete not feel so lonesome, too.

Track Meet 101, coming soon!

I know we have a lot of new families to the team this season. I'm planning to hold some casual "Track Meet 101" sessions in the stands during future practices. The main focus will be the events and an overview of the jobs, so you can dazzle your kids with your knowledge in March.

I'll start pulling together some handouts and post them on the web site, and will plan to talk at length about them during practice.

Which event?

A few parents have asked about this already: which event will my athlete run?

Generally, it's up to the them: whatever they sign up for on the day of the meet is what they will participate in. Coaches may encourage certain events, and they usually try to get a start-of-season 100 meter time to help guide their relay team formation.

Beyond that, events are open to all, with a few restrictions. If you're brand new to track, check out our "How a Meet Works" page:

Results and ribbons

After the meet, we'll get the results back in an online spreadsheet. I massage those results as much as possible into a tracking web site that we've used for years:

Our team's page is:

A few days after the meet, the league prints up ribbons for the top three finishers in events, and we hope to get these assembled and handed out in practice before the next meet.

Our team also recognizes when athletes set personal bests in individual events, based on the stats in Athletes earn a gold ribbon when they've improved their marks, even by a little. Returning athletes have the advantage here since they're almost sure to improve season to season.

Finally, some athletes think track meets are an all-you-can-run buffet, and will gladly try every event they can during the season. Last year, we created the "seven-up club" award to recognize these die-hards. Athletes that attempt seven or more different individual events in a single season earn a stylish and exclusive patch, regardless of how they placed.

Last year, only eight athletes in the whole team reached this goal; how many will be in the club this year?

Refund information

Sometimes track isn't for everyone, and that's OK. If you're thinking of leaving the team, don't just disappear. You have until this Friday the 28th to get your fees 100% refunded, and have your volunteer check shredded, but you must notify me by email no later than Friday.

Starting on Saturday, March 1, the refund drops to 50%, and starting at the first meet on March 15, leaving the team means forfeiting 100% of the fees and your volunteer deposit check.

Once picked up, uniforms and sweatshirts are yours to keep, and their cost will be deducted from any refunds.

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