Monday, May 29, 2017

Picnic Reminder, Off-Season Events

Pot Luck Picnic and Awards, Pleasant Hill Park, Saturday June 3rd 11:30 AMPlease come to the picnic and RSVP. Bring your own entrĂ©e to grill and a side dish to share. The team provides drinks and hot coals. Remember to bring utensils, plates, and napkins. We already have an RSVP list longer than any in recent memory!

We have lots of unclaimed ribbons (and some medals!) from the season, plus 7-up Club patches, various special recognition awards, a "helpful family" prize drawing, and two Athlete of the Year trophies to bestow!

The kids (and child-like coaches/parents) usually play some kickball, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, or football while waiting for lunch.

Hope to see you there!

Off-Season Events
Pleasant Hill hosts a 5K "fun run" the morning of the Fourth of July, and you'll see good turnout from CYO coaches and athletes there. It's a loop around the downtown area, and then you're in a perfect spot to see the parade.

CYO cross-country starts up in August. It's low-key and lots of fun, with meets held along marked trails in local parks. I hear there are often popsicles. Expect email about this program later in the summer.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Last Track News for the 2017 Season

2017 Season: That's a Wrap
We had our last meet on Friday and Saturday. Our team garnered a few firsts and a lot of personal bests. Congratulations to all who competed in the Diocese meet and to all our athletes who worked hard and improved over the course of the season.

Results from the meet will be posted at the Oakland diocese web site at some point. When they are, I'll try to import them to to keep the kids' statistics complete.

Awards & Picnic June 3rd 11:30-3:00 Pleasant Hill Park
RSVP for the picnic online through the signup site so we know how many drinks to purchase and which awards to get sorted:

We have lots of unclaimed ribbons and medals from past meets that will be available at the picnic.

If you can't make it but a friend or classmate will, please have them check for any ribbons or awards for your athlete. Unclaimed awards wind up in a box on my front porch for a while this summer.

Volunteers for 2018
Coming back to track next season? I'm not! So we need a new Head Coach, a new Team Coordinator (preferably a separate volunteer), and a new Treasurer (my wife Jocelyn won't be back either). It has been very rewarding coaching your kids and working with all the other volunteers, but it's time to pass the baton. Please let me know if you can step up in any capacity.

On behalf of the coaches, thank you for helping us make this a successful season! We appreciate the sacrifices you've made working the meets and supporting the team. We take pride in seeing your children grow and improve, and will gladly take credit for their future successes. I hope CYO was a good experience for them, and that they had fun. If so, we could use some word-of-mouth advertising so we can field more relays next post-season!

Hope to see you all at the picnic!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

News for the Week of May1st

Sectionals complete, on to Diocese
Thursday and Saturday were our sectional championships. Congratulations to everyone who competed, regardless of final placement. I will post results to as soon as I get them. And I'll send the list of athletes who qualified for Diocese as soon as I get that! Hopefully most athletes have a good idea if they placed in the top 3 or not, although field events may be less clear. Ribbons for the Qualifying meet should be coming soon. We'll surely have a backlog of them to hand out at the picnic, too.

Final practices Monday & Thursday
Our last two! College Park HS, 5:00-6:30pm. All athletes on the team are welcome to attend, not just finalists.

Diocesan Meet
Order of events and other info is here.
800m and 1600m events
Friday, May 12 at Moreau High School, Hayward, 6:00pm start (first race 6:30pm)

Parade and remaining events
Saturday, May 13 at Logan High School, Union City, Arrive at 8:15am, parade starts 8:30

There's the same small admission fee to Saturday's event: $4 and $2.

Athletes should be in uniform, and will not need stickers.

Did your athlete make it to Diocese? Congratulations! Expect to be contacted about volunteer assignments for Saturday. This will go online via Signup Genius as soon as we know what positions our team needs to fill.

I just put up an event on SignUpGenius for the picnic. Please RSVP here.

The team provides cold drinks and hot charcoal grills: you bring something to grill for your family and something to share with the team. Salads, fruit -- picnic fare, nothing fancy.

Picnic is from around 11:30-3:00 on Saturday June 3rd at Pleasant Hill Park. We should have the fires hot by noon, and we'll start awards around 1:00pm. Note that there are awards for Sportsmanship, Team Spirit, Effort, etc. in addition to performance-based awards. We'd like to see all athletes and families at the picnic. Some awards are more likely to go to athletes who are known to be attending, so RSVP!

Our site is the covered tables near the youth center, at Gregory and Cleaveland. Look for the team banner.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

News for the Week of April 30th

Qualifying Meet Results
The kids had a great meet and a lot of them made it to the next round, the Sectional Meet. A preliminary list of our qualifiers is here. If an athlete placed 4th, you may see an "Alternate" flag in the far right column. That means he/she would not get to run unless one of the other Qualifiers did not show up, which happens fairly frequently. Note that 4th place finishers in the 800 m, 1600 m, and all field events will get to compete and are not alternates.

If your athlete qualified and will not be able to compete, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can get an alternate into the event. The final list of Qualifiers won't be out until Wednesday morning after a Coordinator's Seeding Meeting Tuesday night.

If your athlete was on a Qualifying relay and won't be able to compete Saturday, let me know as soon as possible so that we don't have 3 other teammates make the trip for nothing!

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come to practice this week (and next), not just qualifiers.

Sectional Meet
The 1600m event will be on Thursday at YVHS at 5:30pm (1st event 6:00pm). Coaches will split up and cover both this meet and practice at CPHS. The order of events is:
  1. Girls grades 3-5
  2. Boys grades 3-5
  3. Girls grades 6-8
  4. Boys grades 6-8
There should be no admission fee charged at Thursday's event.

All other events are on Saturday, May 6th at DVC at 8:00am (1st event 8:30). Note the location change--the schedule on our website said differently!

There is a small admission fee on Saturday. The usual breakdown is $4 for adults, and $2 for seniors and school-age children. Exact change will be greatly appreciated by the gate volunteers.

Athletes in uniform and coaches with their current cards are free.

There may also be a "spike check" at the gate. Athletes with track shoes need to present them for inspection. They are looking for 1/4" (or smaller) pyramid spikes. I have extra metal spikes of this style and wrenches if we need to do a replacement.

The gate will be very, very busy on Saturday. Please arrive before 8:00am, especially athletes in the 4x100 relay. The 4x100 relays start calling at 8:10am. Please don't miss your race because you are stuck in line.

Sectional Meet Volunteers
If your athlete is competing, please be prepared to help out. If you're behind on your shift obligations, this will be your chance to catch up. Otherwise, you might want to check out the list of qualifiers and see if another family wants to split a meet job. We'll know what our team job assignments are Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Expect a Signup Genius invite!

Team Picnic
Our team picnic and awards ceremony will be Saturday June 3rd at Pleasant Hill Park. More in the next newsletter!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

News for Qualifying Week

We've got lots of them! If your athlete hasn't been at practice for the last week or so, chances are their primary coach has something for them.

Qualifying Meet, Saturday 4/29, YVHS
Arrive by 9AM. Last year's Qualifying Meet explanation is still applicable. Read it here. Notes from our Sectional Coordinator:

To participate in the up coming qualifying meet each athlete must have participated in 2 of the regular season Practice meets. (I have incorrectly been saying that all could participate, but just not move on. -Greg)

All Relay Teams must be grade pure and gender pure.  No mixing grades or gender to make a relay team.

Exception: 4x400 you are allowed to mix grades.  Must be gender pure.  The relay team participates at the highest grade level of the 4 athletes.  (for example a team of one 8th grader, two seventh graders and 1 third grader runs as an 8th grade team).

Long Jump, Shop Put and Softball Throw are Open events.  Please keep all field events open until the 15 minutes following the conclusion of the 200M.

High Jump athletes must compete when their grade group is called.  If an athlete checks out to compete in a running event, they must return to high jump within 15 minutes of the conclusion of their race.  Word of advice: please try to keep your high jumpers at the event as long as possible.  Many times they could have completed their High Jump competition before their running race.  Athletes returning to High Jump after a running event usually perform poorly on their remaining jumps.

Starting with this weekend's meet, we're into the final championship weekends. All the hard work that the athletes have done over the season pays off as we taper for peak performance on these weekends.

All the practice you've done as volunteers gets called upon, too. These are the weekends when we're especially careful with how the meets are run and results are recorded. On that subject, there has been a request that volunteers make sure that every meet result includes an athlete number (not just a name) and that relay results include 4 athlete numbers for each team.

The top three finishers overall earn a place at the next championship meet, which is a change from our normal "fastest in the heat" finishes at practice meets. This can be a hard concept to grasp for younger athletes. ("But I got the #2 popsicle stick. How come I came in fifth?") In track, we always stress the importance of setting personal bests over crossing the finish line first.

After Qualifying
The weekend after Qualifying is the Sectional meet, and the following weekend is the Diocese championship. For the Sectional meet, the 1600 will be run on Thursday evening at YVHS. For the Diocesan meet, both the 800 and the 1600 will be run on Friday evening. See the meet schedule on our website.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

News for the Week of April 16th

Hope everyone had a good Easter. We're back to our normal practice schedule, weather permitting.

Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay Meet, Saturday at DVC
Athletes and Coaches should arrive: 8:00 am.
The relay meet is special. We have four events only this week, and they're all relays, with no individual races and no field events.

Event order is:
  • 4x100m - the same relay we know and love from practice meets
  • Medley - double our normal sprint medley, the distances are 200m, 200m, 400m, and 800m
  • 4x200m - another doubling, every athlete runs 1/2 lap
  • 4x400m - our usual and the final event of the day
Despite there being only four events, the overall meet length is about the same, owing to the general chaos of staging.

We will still run girls in an event first, and then boys, with an eye toward filling all lanes in the track for each race.

There are no limits to the number of races an athlete may be in this week. Opportunists might even be able to run in the same event twice.

Free Agency

At this meet, there is usually a special "Free Agent" loitering area set up for athletes in search of a relay team. Coaches are urged to look there to round out relay teams.

This means we'll see multi-age and -parish teams this Saturday. It's all good, and it's all for fun. The only two rules for relay teams are:
  • Girls teams must be all girls: co-ed teams count as a boys team
  • Teams run as the grade of their oldest athlete
See you at the track!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

News for the Week of April 9th

Practice Meet #4 at College Park
...was a challenge and a success! Despite intermittent rain and rookies in some volunteer positions, we persevered and got through it. Although I've coached for quite a while, that was my first attempt at helping to run a meet and let me assure you, it is not as easy as it looks. Thanks to all the volunteers and especially Meet Director Mike Moore.

Easter Break
Normal practice tomorrow, Monday. There is no practice Thursday and no meet this weekend. Enjoy the holiday!

Marty Mart Scholarship
The Oakland Diocese awards a $500 scholarship to one 8th grade athlete each year. The application form and further information is posted here.

Looking ahead, the Relay meet is Saturday 4/22 at DVC. That meet is just what it sounds like--all relays. It's a lot of fun for the kids. We mix and match across gender, age group, and parishes to form teams as necessary (or as desired). The week after that is the Qualifying meet at YVHS. That is open to all athletes. At that meet and the Sectional meet, an athlete has to place in the top 3 (usually) to advance. All athletes are encouraged to continue coming to practice even if they have not advanced. The last meet is the Diocese meet on May 13th.

See you at the track.