Sunday, March 23, 2014

Track news for the week of March 23

Meet #2, the aftermath

Another meet is on the books. I hope everyone is getting used to the way things work, athletes and adults alike. We had even better weather, lots of volunteer turnout, and dedicated high school helpers from College Park.

There were, however, two problems with Saturday's meet that I want to bring to everyone's attention because I need your help to correct them.

1) Food and drink on the track and field - it's not allowed except plain, boring, unadulterated water. This applies to athletes, volunteers, coaches, and coordinators alike. Drink spills and dropped food ruin the very expensive track and football field surfaces, and is a sure way to infuriate the facility and their athletic booster's club.

I saw coffee, chips, fruit, sandwiches, and other things being eaten on the field yesterday. I know it's  a picnic atmosphere, but you have eat in the stands, and keep all drinks outside the track fence. This may mean eating a big breakfast before your all-day volunteer job, and grabbing a quick protein bar off-track during a slow event.

2) Unsupervised athletes - More than once I had to use my Dad Voice to usher kids off the DVC football equipment and high jump pits. Athletes were wrestling near the track while races were going on, and crossing in the middle of the track. Our insurance and first aid kit is not good enough for the kinds of disasters I was visualizing.

None of the coaches or team coordinators are able to babysit during meets. Keep athletes with you in the stands between their events. If you're working a job, use your own Mom and Dad Voices before  the meet and explain the rules. It will help keep them safe.

Happily, a solution to both of these issues is easy...

Make a home base in the stands

Everyone forgets about the away-side stands, but they are wide open at most meets. Since your athletes are only competing for about 10-20 minutes in total, why not encamp in the other bleachers and then come around the track to watch their finish?

Children, like cockroaches, prefer darkness and a regular food source. Setting up an umbrella or tent in the stands with a cooler of snacks can lure them away from trackside Wrestlemania and give them a place to call home during the meet.

Thanks in advance for your help. Starting at the next meet, we'll be more actively encouraging athletes and non-volunteer adults off the field, since we'll need the space for this special event.

Hey! Cleanup crew! Where did you go?

Nobody wants to close the meet more than I do, but if you're on cleanup, you need to stay until we're actually all cleaned up. Only two scheduled crew members and myself stuck around on Saturday to wrestle all the tents back in their bags, get all the equipment back in the boxes, gather up the lost and found, and pile it next to my car. Like setup, cleanup takes about 1/2 hour on the other side of the meet.

Starting next week, cleanup volunteers need to sign out as well as sign in to get credit.

Practice this week on Tuesday and Thursday

No bonus practice this week, we're on the usual two-day plan:
  • Tuesday meet on the blacktop by 5pm, due to a scheduled lacrosse game
  • Thursday meet in the stands by the track at 5pm
A number of athletes have been showing up late to Tuesday practices, and then give me lost-puppy expressions when they realize that their groups have already left.  

Please make sure you're arriving on time, as the coaches are eager to get the kids out on a run. For safety, no athletes may leave unsupervised in search of their practice groups. They are usually stuck with me for a rousing game of "endless laps around the grassy field." I'm the only one who thinks this is a fun game, alas.

Meet Awards

Personal best ribbons from the first meet were handed out at practice, and place ribbons (first, second, third) should arrive this week at practice. Coaches distribute these at the end of practices.

When results are available from Saturday, I'll post them on the team web site and
Ribbons will be printed up after the results are posted, and handed out at practice.

Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay meet, Saturday, March 29 at Ygnacio Valley, 9:30am

This is my favorite meet of the whole season. There are no field events this week, and no individual running events. We only run four relay events, though the meet takes about the same time to conduct.

We will form as many teams as possible this week, including mixed-parish groups, so it's extra important that idle athletes are listening for calls so we can find them. Many teams will be formed last-minute this week.

This meet is so special that it gets its own email, so stay tuned.

Meet times at YVH

Because of neighborhood rules about noise, we cannot use the PA system until 9:00am at Ygnacio Valley. As a result, we shift all our times about 1/2 later.
  • Setup crew starts at 8:30am - this is a quick setup this week
  • Athlete check-in and first shift starts at 9:00am
  • First event starts at 9:30am
I don't know the state of the construction work in their stadium, so be aware that the field entrance may have changed places since the last time you were there, either last season or at the War Path.

Students for hire at YVH

High school students are usually available to cover your volunteer shifts at YVH. The process is:
  • Contact Gina Marks no later than Wednesday of your intent so she can reserve a student
  • Get payment to me no later than Thursday in an envelope with your name and the meet date on it (March 29)
Cost is $25 per shift, paid in cash or a check made out to CTK CYO Track. I will reimburse YVH from the team funds.

Gina's contact details are on the Volunteers page of the web site:

I can be found at practice in the stands, usually looking amused. I love it when people pass me money.

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