Sunday, March 30, 2014

Track news for the week of March 30

Relay meet: the aftermath

We survived our first combined track meet/swim meet of the season. The athletes will remember Saturday for quite a while. I'm sure the volunteers will, too, and I hope you find forgiveness in your hearts.

There was no shortage of offers of help before and during the meet, and we had many hands to strike the tent and haul all the soggy equipment out to the curb. Everyone embodied the CYO spirit on Saturday, and I appreciate it tremendously. We had many new people in key jobs, and it all ran smoothly. Thanks to everyone for pitching in.

I have to confess that despite the wind, cold and rain, this is still my favorite meet... though I won't be sad to see the sun again next time.

Practice this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

No fooling, we have a bonus practice this week. Check Twitter or the web site if rain is likely, but otherwise the plan is:
  • Tuesday: lacrosse game in the stadium, so meet on blacktop promptly at 5pm.
  • Wednesday: bonus practice, meet in the stands at the track at 5pm
  • Thursday: normal practice, meet in the stands at the track at 5pm
Meet #3 at Ygnacio Valley on Saturday, April 5

Same place, same time... hopefully better weather!
  • Setup at 8:30, done quietly to be nice to the neighbors
  • Athlete check-in and first shift start at 9:00
  • First event start at 9:30
We're midway through the season now. We have two practice meets left before championships begin with the qualifying meet on April 26.

For an athlete to be eligible to compete at qualifying:
  • They need to have participated in at least two "practice" meets on 3/8, 3/15, 4/5, 4/12 (the relay meet doesn't count, alas)
  • Their families need to be finishing up or have completed their volunteer time by the qualifying meet
If you haven't been able to attend the meets or work shifts, please make sure you're getting those done in the weeks we have left.

Hire a student this Saturday

We're at YVH again, and high school students should be available to help out:
  • Inform Gina Marks of your intent to hire a student helper no later than Wednesday
  • Pay me $25 per shift no later than Thursday: exact change or a check to CTK CYO Track
If you want to carry over an unused check from the relay meet, let me know that, too.

Meet results & being careful

As we approach the end of the season, make sure you're trying your best at your volunteer jobs, especially those involving recording and verifying the results.
  • Print neatly on the sheets and relay cards
  • Measure and mark each heat, jump and throw consistently and correctly
  • Carry the best marks into the result columns for final placement
  • Rank the athletes according to their best mark when the event closes
  • Ask for help to resolve ties if we have one
Meet hosts are told regularly that the league's data-entry team makes no corrections to the sheets. I don't get a chance to go through the results before turning them in, so the quality of the data ultimately comes down to you, the noble volunteers.

If you have any questions about how to mark something down or conduct an event, these final few meets are your chance to ask. Each event's clipboard has a sheet of directions laminated to the back, and I'm always happy to go through it with you.

Relay DQs

Starting with this week's meet, we'll be watching relay handoffs more carefully. If you are working as a corner judge, please confirm that baton exchanges happen inside the marked zone on the track (the big triangles.) Passes outside the zone or athletes that interfere with another team cause the offending team to be disqualified.

Dropped batons, sloppy or comically bad handoffs are not grounds for a DQ, as long as they are in the zone and don't impede other runners. (Impeding being stepping out of the lane, causing someone to trip, etc.)

This can be tough for all athletes -- and parents and coaches, too -- and we want to have a couple of weeks to practice before qualifying.

Lost and Found

I'm hearing several reports of sweatshirts lost or picked up by the wrong person after meets. At least two are missing as I write this, and I have two others in the collection...

Please put your name on water bottles and in all your clothing. A clever idea that I stole from another family is to use a laundry marker to write your name in huge letters on the inside of the elastic band at the bottom of the sweatshirt. This makes it easy to find your own, and to know when you've grabbed someone else's by mistake. Tiny initials on the tag get ignored. No name or initials is a lost sweatshirt, guaranteed.

The current collection is huge, and into its third Hefty bag now:

A small, soggy pile of things wound up in my car yesterday after the meet. I'll document those and get them on the web site soon.

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