Sunday, March 9, 2014

Track news for the week of March 9

Hello again track families. Another long newsletter this week as we start our 2014 meet season.

War Path complete

Our first time at the War Path invitational went very well. Over half our team showed up to run in ideal weather, and I saw lots of smiles. I often say that for the athletes, track meets are like gigantic play dates, interrupted by the occasional race.

A number of other teams were represented too, giving us a preview of the season to come. CYO meets are run similarly to the War Path, minus the feathered hats.

All practices now 5-6:30pm

Daylight Savings means one hour less sleep, but it also means longer practice times. From now until the end of the season, practices are from 5-6:30pm. That's the good news.

The bad news is that College Park has a number of lacrosse games scheduled on Tuesdays. Plan to keep coming to College Park on our regular practice days, weather permitting. If a lacrosse game is going, we'll start out on the blacktop and then dismiss from there.

We also have Wednesdays to use this season, and we may start using those to work on field events or other track skills. We may reserve Tuesdays for conditioning runs. The coaches are working out their availability now, and we appreciate your patience and flexibility.

I'll post schedule updates to the web site, and send them around in email when we have it figured out.

First meets scheduled

The league has assigned locations for our first three meets:
  • Meet #1, March 15: Diablo Valley College
  • Meet #2, March 22, Diablo Valley College
  • Relay Meet, March 29: Ygnacio Valley High
I've updated the team's "Schedule" page:

DVC meets are in their stadium, just across Viking Drive from practice (but park at DVC.) YVH is on Oak Grove Rd and Treat Blvd in Concord, right around the corner from Trader Joe's.

Meet #1 this Saturday, March 15 at DVC

This is the first of four "practice" meets we hold over the season. It's a chance for the kids to apply what they've learned, and for the parents to learn new and exciting track skills. Remember that these are supposed to be fun and not stressful.
  • Setup crew should be on the field at 8:00am, ready to work
  • First shift should check in and be ready to work by 8:30am -- there will be a line, so plan ahead
  • Athletes should find their coaches by 8:30 to check in and start warming up
  • We hope to start the first event -- the 1600m -- at 9:00am
We are hosting this meet and others, so be gracious and friendly to the other teams' athletes and parents. There's no admission fee for any of our practice meets.

Here's the order of events for our practice meets, to help you plan your day:


I'm waiting impatiently for them to appear. Stay tuned...


If you're signed up to work at the next meet, first let me say thank you. CYO is completely volunteer-run, and we honestly can't hold meets without your help. Second, please check the forecast and dress appropriately, remembering to pack water for yourself as well as your athletes.

Volunteer assignments will be posted on the team site very soon, and I'll send email when they are. You should also get notification from the team volunteer reminders later in the week.

We usually have job openings on meet days. If you're available, you may check in to get assigned a postion.

Remember that we're asking families to work at least five "shifts" over the season. Families that exceed their commitment are entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes at the end of the season.
    Help! I'm new! What do I do?

    I've made a "Track 101" document on the web site that you can download and read at your leisure. There's diagrams of the layout of the meet, and short descriptions of each job.

    I plan to attach scanned copies of the paperwork to this document soon.

    For all events, athletes register when it opens for their grade, then they compete, and finally are placed (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) when the event closes. A few days after the meet, results appear online, and ribbons and awards get handed out at practice some time later.

    Event registration-and-recording happens on paper. If you're working, you may be filling out the paper, or measuring throws or jumps, or pressing a timing button. Some special people get to make announcements, or rake sand, or reset high jump bars, or retrieve shot and softballs. All jobs are necessary to keep the meet moving smoothly. Working a job makes the day pass faster, too.

    Volunteer guidelines
    • Sign in on time at the big tents at the finish line. If you don't sign in, we can't give credit -- sorry. You'll get a sticker to wear once you are signed in and assigned a job.
    • Wear your volunteer sticker so we know you're allowed to be on the field.
    • Stay at your job for your whole shift, and make sure your replacement is in place before leaving. Don't just vanish at 11:30 or if it looks slow.
    • Ask questions if you don't understand something. We will have 2-way radios at every event this season.
    Most importantly...
    • Smile and enjoy! The athletes are there to have fun, and you should, too. 
    Athlete guidelines
    • Check in with your coach when you arrive.
    • Wear your athlete sticker so we know who you are and can record your results.
    • Stay with the clerks once you sign in for a race: don't just vanish to the bathrooms or field events.
    • Ask questions if you don't understand something.
    Most importantly...
    • Smile and enjoy! There will be fast runners and slow ones, long jumpers and short ones. You are there to do your best and set your times... not anybody else's!

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