Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 12 May 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Thanks to all of the athletes, coaches, and parent volunteers for a great end to the 2008 season. The diocese meet was a lot of fun for all who attended. We had a number of champions, a whole lot of medalists, and many great performances and acts of sportsmanship to finish up 2008.

We have just one remaining event before us: our awards picnic.

Many of you are now wondering if I will ever stop sending emails. I will be sending you exactly four more unless you sign your athlete up for track next season:
  1. Picnic reminder shortly before the picnic (June 1)
  2. A survey, if I can get it together
  3. 2008 CYO Cross Country announcement (in August)
  4. 2009 Track announcement (in January)
Here is some final business:

Diocese Meet Results
Meet results should be available on the Oakland Diocese CYO Track & Field website by midweek and I will update our site as soon as I notice them. Don't worry -- I won't send you an email about it.

Awards Picnic
Our annual team picnic takes place Sunday, June 1st, from 11am to 3pm in the group picnic area at Pleasant Hill Park. (P.H. Park is at 147 Gregory Lane.) This is the same location as in previous years.

For the new families, here's what we do: The team supplies drinks and hot coals. You bring something to grill for your family if you like and also something to share with others like a salad or cookies or appetizer. After some time for eating, we recognize many of our athletes for their accomplishments and hand out quite a few awards. We also bid farewell to our graduating 8th graders. Coaches will also be handing our remaining ribbons and season summaries.

Lost & Found
One of the annual highlights of the picnic is the re-emergence of the 2008 Lost & Found collection. Items not claimed by the end of the picnic will be donated or discarded. Everything I've picked up at meets this season is listed on the web site under Lost & Found.

CTK Parish Festival
If you and your family are already missing their track teammates, I can guarantee that you will find most of them at the annual Christ the King Parish Festival which takes place next weekend (May 16-18). The festival is extremely popular with the families of the parish and features food, games, entertainment, a book sale, bingo (we're a Catholic parish, so it's a requirement!) and other activities. The festival runs Friday from 6-10pm, Saturday from 2-10pm, and Sunday from 10am-2pm. I'll see you there.

Firecracker 5K
There's a 5 km race around Pleasant Hill's downtown area on the morning of the 4th of July every year. I can never believe how many CTK/SC/SS track families I see there every year. If your child is not tired of running yet, come on down. Money raised supports local schools.

CYO Cross Country
If your child is still not tired of running, consider signing up for Cross Country in the fall. Cross country is a distance running sport with races on trails instead of around a track. Get more information at the picnic or by checking out the Oakland Diocese CYO Cross Country website.

Volunteer Deposits
I will be reviewing our Volunteer Coordinators' records from the regular season meets over the next few weeks and mostly shredding your volunteer deposit checks if you worked all or most of your required meet shifts. If your deposit is in jeopardy, then I will be contacting you to offer you a chance to appeal before depositing any checks. We did have some folks not hold up their end of the bargain this season and quite a few parents had to work extra shifts to fill the gaps left by the few. Those who worked more than required during the regular season will be entered in a drawing to be held at the picnic. (No, you need not be present to win, but we'd love to have you there!)

Have a great off-season and I'll look forward to seeing you at the festival, the picnic, and at the Firecracker 5K!


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Sunday, May 4, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 5 May 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Congratulations to all of our athletes who participated in this weekend's Sectional Meet (a/k/a League Championship Meet) at Heritage and Granada High Schools! Win or finish last, it's a big honor to make it that far. We had a large number of qualifiers for this meet and those who attended these meets know that many of our athletes did very well and will go on to next weekend's Diocese Championship Meet.

Our final two practices will be at our usual time and place:
  • Tuesday, May 6, from 5 to 6:30pm, at College Park High School
  • Thursday, May 8, from 5 to 6:30pm, at College Park High School
The Diocese Meet is also run in two parts, but this time the 1600m, the 800m and the 7th & 8th grade boys high jump will take place on Friday night at Chabot College in Hayward starting at 6:30pm. Note that the order of the various heats is, well, weird:
1. 1600 METER —
5 4 3 GIRLS 5 4 3 BOYS
8 7 6 GIRLS 8 7 6 BOYS
2. 800 METER —
5 4 3 GIRLS 5 4 3 BOYS
8 7 6 GIRLS 8 7 6 BOYS

The rest of the meet will take place back at Granada High School in Livermore. There is a complete schedule (including field event order), all of which is somewhat different from what we're used to at
I also put quite a bit of information, including preliminary Diocese Championship Meet entries, on the web site's home page.
Please have a look, especially if your athlete qualified.

As I said last week, we welcome all athletes at practice, qualifiers or not.

Two more small items of business:
  1. We will be looking for a few more brave volunteers to work at the Diocese Meet. If your child qualified, please volunteer or accept an assignment if we contact you.
  2. I've been asked to remind you that Marcia Eaton is still accepting contributions for coach appreciation. You can still mail a donation if you choose to Marcia at: 16 Sheila Court, Pleasant Hill 94523
See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Sunday, April 27, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 28 Apr 08...


I'm sending this a little bit early today since the results for the Qualifying Meet are now published on the web site for you to check.

League Meet
Remember, the 1600m race next week will take place at Heritage HS in Brentwood at 6pm on
Friday evening May 2nd. The 7th & 8th grade boys (not girls!) high jump will also take place
at the same time.

The rest of the events will take place Saturday, May 3rd, at Granada High School in Livermore starting at 9am with the 4x100m relays.

If your child qualified (or appears to be an alternate) in any event but he or she will not be able to
compete next weekend, please let me know by Monday afternoon at 5pm at the latest. I
will attend a league seeding meeting Monday evening where we'll go over all of the results
and finalize lane assignments for next week. I should have a final list of qualifiers on
Tuesday at practice.

We will be recruiting "volunteers" from among the parents of qualifiers to work at the League
Meet, so please try to help out. Since many of the qualifiers are children of primary or
assistant coaches, we may be asking coaches to work at this meet too. (If your athlete
is not available to compete though, of course we won't ask you to work.) We will get our
job assignments Monday night too; if you have a job you'd really like to do, please let
me know and I'll see if I can capture that job as part of our allotment.

Practice Continues
As I said earlier, all athletes are welcome at practice for the next two weeks whether they
qualified in an event or not. We will undoubtedly have a much smaller group over these
last four practices as the season winds down. As usual, practices will be at College Park
on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 6:30pm.

If you have any questions, please be sure to ask.

See you on or near the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

CTK Track News for week of 21 Apr 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Thanks once again to all of the volunteers who worked diligently to make Saturday's meet a success. The other parishes involved are apparently also blessed with helpful parents and coaches and I thought it went well.

We'll practice twice this week as usual:
  • Tuesday, April 22, from 5-6:30pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday, April 24, from 5-6:30pm at College Park HS
Qualifying Meet
As you probably know, next Saturday is our Qualifying Meet and is the last meet that all athletes may participate in
since only the top three or four finishers in each event move on to the league championship meet the next week. I have put a lengthy and (I hope) complete description of the Qualifying Meet on the front page of the web site for those who want to read all I know on the subject. If you have other questions, please ask.

One question you may have is, what events should my athlete attempt to qualify in? The easy way to tell is to look at their ribbon collection and pick the events they have done best in. If you want data, however, we got data. I have collected and posted a PDF of all individual running and field events for the whole league for the season up through meet #3, which was April 12. (I'll update this when I have meet #4 results.) This file, for the true track junky, will give you an idea how your athlete's performance stacks up against the rest of the league. Keep in mind that they will only be competing against St. Mary and St. Perpetua in the Qualifying Meet (abbreviated SM and SP on the report) as well as of course the kids from our teams (CTK, SC, and SS). There are a few inconsistencies in the report due to different ways data was entered at the different meets, and the sorting is ascending alphabetically in all cases which is not what you'd want for field events. However, the information is there for your study at if you care to visit. Maybe it will help...

We'll attempt to explain how all of this works at practice but we'll need your help managing expectations, especially for the younger kids.

Our Qualifying Meet will take place at Ygnacio Valley High School and will start at 9am as usual. As you will know if you read the information on the web site, not everyone can run relays this week. However, we still want to know who is not able to come to this meet. Please let your primary coach know if any athlete cannot make it.

We will continue to practice for two more weeks after this week. Although these practices are primarily geared towards those who qualify for the League Championship Meet and the Diocese Championship Meet, *all* athletes are always welcome to continue coming to practice. On the other hand, if your child is ready to move on, we understand. (But please mark your calendar for our team picnic on Sunday, June 1st!)

Lost & Found
You have all outdone yourselves by leaving a huge pile of stuff at Ygnacio Valley HS the last two weekends. Please check the Lost and Found section on the web site if you are missing something. Apparently a lot of you are!

Coach Appreciation
Marcia Eaton, our hard-working picnic coordinator, has asked me to add this note to the weekly reader:

Hello everyone! By now it's no surprise to you how hard our coaches work. Every year at the team picnic, we show our appreciation for all the time and energy they put in through out the season. Here's where I need your help. It's coach contribution time again! I will be collecting money for coaches gifts at the qualifying meet on 4/26. Please look for me--I will have a big sign to help you. At YV this weekend, I will be in the lawn area near the finish line. You will have to walk past me to get to the bleachers. The suggested amount is $10 per family. If you are unable to make either of the meets, you can mail your donation to me at: 16 Sheila Court, Pleasant Hill 94523 - Marcia Eaton (

Volunteers Needed For Saturday's Meet
You would think that with 235 kids on the team that we would be able to fully staff a track meet seven times over the course of each season. But somehow we always need more help at the end of the season. If you are available to work for the very important meet we have coming up next Saturday, please contact Trish or Greg Brown right away and let them know. Remember the post-season drawing and think of the job satisfaction! And it's local! Thanks!

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, April 14, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 14 Apr 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Thanks again to all of the parents who helped out at the meet yesterday. The meet ran very smoothly until the primary coach for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys attempted to insert runners into the 4x400m at the very last minute and confused everyone. You would think he'd learn.

We especially appreciate those who worked extra shifts and we will remember you indeed during the end-of-season drawing at the picnic. The families of Christ The King second graders had first communions yesterday or have them next weekend so I expect we'll be scrambling again for volunteers. I am always pleased with how cheerfully everyone serves their time at the meets -- you all put on a very good act and I appreciate it.

This Week
We'll have two practices this week, on Tuesday and Thursday at College Park as usual. I am told by the lacrosse coach that they have a game Tuesday afternoon again but it should be finished by 5pm so you may catch the end of it if you come early to practice.

Our meet next weekend will seem very familiar if you were there yesterday. We'll be at YVHS again, and host both St Agnes and St. Ignatius again. However, we'll see St. John Vianney and St. Francis of Assisi (instead of St. Monica and QAS this weekend).

As usual, we'd like to see first shift volunteers and athletes at YVHS by 8:30am.

Ribbon/Result Problems
I have heard anecdotally about various result or ribbon problems, especially from the relay meet. If you think something is wrong, please let me know and I'll do my best to fix it and get your athlete the proper ribbon if necessary. I fixed a few problems today already. Please send me an email about such problems and I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Lost & Found
I added a number of new treasures to the Lost and Found page of the web site. Please check out the collection.

Bring More Water
My son brought two full water bottles to the meet Saturday and still ran out of water. Please make sure you send plenty of water with your child to meets. It's hot out there!

Qualifying Meet Coming
Next week is our last regular "practice" meet. After that, our athletes start trying to qualify for the post-season league and diocese championship meets. We'll talk more about how the Qualifying Meet works next time.

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, April 7, 2008

CTK Track News for week of Apr 7...


Since I'm sure you've all had your fill of track for today, I'll keep this short.

Congratulations to all of today's participants. We had a very large group there today and our athletes did very well. Thank you to all of the meet volunteers who worked hard to make the meet flow smoothly.

My main message is NO PRACTICE TUESDAY April 8! College Park has a lacrosse game and scientific studies have shown that lacrosse balls and youth track stars do not mix well. This will happen twice more, on April 29 and May 6.

Practice will resume on Thursday, April 10, at College Park from 5-6:30pm as usual.

Our next meet is next Saturday, April 12, at Ygnacio Valley High School. I'm delighted to save half an hour's driving time and I'm sure you are too! The meet will start at 9am. As usual, we'd like to see athletes and first-shift volunteers there at 8:30am and the setup crew at 8am. We'll have a regular meet next week with field and individual events.

Please alert your child's primary coach(es) if your child(ren) will not be able to attend the meet. Please work with our volunteer coordinators if you need to change a work assignment for next weekend.

See you Thursday at practice,


Sunday, March 30, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 31 Mar 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Most of our team's athletes will be returning from Spring Break this week and we'll be back to a regular practice schedule:

We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, April 1, from 5 to 6:30 pm at College Park High School track
  • Thursday, April 3, from 5 to 6:30pm at College Park High School track
Relay Meet
Our meet this week will be on Sunday at 12 noon at Granada High School in Livermore. This special meet will consist of just three relay events; there will be no field or individual running events. The relays are (in order):
  • 4x100m
  • Medley (200/200/400/800m - note this not our usual Sprint Medley)
  • 4x400m
The relay meet is a lot of fun. Granada High School has a great facility including the Lynx finish line system which times racers using a video system which (I am told) is connected to the scoreboard. It's a pretty fair distance away (30 miles from my house) so you might want to consider carpooling with teammates.

Please tell your primary coach if your athlete cannot make it. This is especially important for relays since the coaches will be attempting to set them all up ahead of time. By the way, you'll note that I ask this EVERY week and yet (for my 6th - 8th grade boys at least), I am typically missing quite a few runners who never bothered to call or write. Help keep my blood pressure under control -- tell us if you're not coming to a meet!

Meet Jobs
Trish & Greg, our volunteer coordinators, asked me to point out that the volunteer assignment spreadsheets online usually have TWO pages. Apparently some of you have looked at just the first page and, not seeing your name, assumed you were not working. Please check both pages. Having said that, please note that the relay meet volunteer assignment spreadsheet has just ONE page.

As usual, if you see an opening for this week's meet that you'd like to fill, please email Trish & Greg at Thanks!

Lost & Found
There are a number of new treasures listed on the Lost and Found page from Saturday's meet at Heritage HS. See anything you like? Items from the lost and found collection make a public appearance at the team picnic (have you saved June 1st yet on your calendar?) and then are given to charity.

Team T-Shirts
If your athlete has not received a T-shirt this year, please let me know. Most have been distributed. If your athlete has managed to lose his or her shirt somehow, I have a few gently used T-shirts I can provide you as replacements.

Personal Best Ribbons
If things go well, Personal Best Ribbons will start to appear very soon at practice. These fine yellow ribbons are awarded to athletes who improve on past performances and often helps boost the morale of kids who find themselves out of the range 1st - 3rd place ribbons the league awards. Please be patient. I have some very able volunteers who will be helping me but I've got to get the ball rolling before anything happens.

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

CTK Track News for week of 24 Mar 08...

Happy Easter to all of the CTK/SC/SS Track Families!

We don't have a meet today (as you know) and there's no practice on Tuesday.

Distance runners should definitely be running on the side (accompanied by parents, right?) to maintain their fitness, and I'll see those of you not on vacation this week at practice Thursday.
  • Thursday, March 27, from 5 - 6:30pm at College Park HS track.
Note the later ending time -- we'll be going until 6:30pm for the rest of the season.

Meet #2
Our next meet is at the end of most school's spring break:
  • Saturday, March 29, at 9am at Heritage HS track
Please check your calendars to see if your family is going to be on vacation that day and let your runner's primary coach know if your athlete won't be there. Please arrange to switch with someone who will be in town if you are scheduled to work.

Relay Meet
The following week is our relay meet. The relay meet has just three relay events for all grades. It's a lot of fun and this year our meet will take place on Sunday (note SUNDAY) afternoon (not MORNING) April 6, at Granada High School in Livermore. This is the venue for the Saturday portion of our League Championship Meet and the Diocese Championship Meet later in the season so I hope you all can make it.

I just reworked the relay meet volunteer schedule after consulting with our co-hosts at St. Michael/St. Charles. If you recall, many of you signed up to work this meet back when it was just a list (without specific jobs) and scheduled for Saturday morning. Please check if you are available to work Note that I moved many of the names I recognized into actual jobs and scheduled other parishes to do many of the jobs too.

By the way, this track has an electronic timing system so we'll need fewer volunteers than usual. I'm told they even have the Lynx timing system hooked into the scoreboard so times appear just each race just like the Olympics. Should be fun!

See you on the track, but not until Thursday,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Saturday, March 22, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 17 Mar 08...

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Scientific studies reveal that more people read last week's email than ever before since it was so short. I imagine there's a message there for me; let's see what happens this week.

I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that parents from our team found many different ways to reach Freedom High School yesterday. If you had not noticed, there are directions on the web site to all of our venues. Heritage High School is the site of our next meet and it's in the same area. Do yourselves a favor and take the Highway 4 Bypass Road to Balfour, turn right, and go up the hill to find Heritage on the left. Your onboard GPS system may not believe you are on a road part of the time, but trust me: it's the fastest way.

We'll practice just once this week as Easter approaches. CYO rules prohibit practice on Holy Thursday through Easter and I have kept alive my predecessor's tradition of skipping the Tuesday practice after Easter as well. So the next two practices are:
  • Tuesday, March 18, from 5 - 6:15pm at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 27, from 5 - 6:30pm at College Park HS track. Note later ending time!
Meet #2
Our next meet is at the end of most school's spring break:
  • Saturday, March 29, at 9am at Heritage HS track
Please check your calendars to see if your family is going to be on vacation that day and let your runner's primary coach know so he or she doesn't expect him or her for the relay when you're on a beach in Maui. Please arrange to switch with someone who will be in town if you are scheduled to work.

Speaking of meet assignments, Trish and Greg Brown, our volunteer coordinators, plus your humble correspondent will be out of town over Easter and during the early part of the following week. Mails and phone calls won't be returned until we return. For that reason, please look ahead and make volunteer assignment changes early.

By the way, thanks for all of the help at yesterday's meet. Many of you worked extra shifts and extra hard to make our meet go smoothly. Those of you who stayed clear to the end saw how we typically end our meets: we have a heat or two of the 4x400m relay which always seems like a party to me for those runners who stick around. Yesterday we used all 8 lanes.

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found page on the web site is now open for business has some real treasures. Please check it out.


Results for Saturday's meet will be posted when I get them. I expect it will be Monday evening since there was a Sunday meet today.
Ribbons for Saturday's meet will be handed out on Thursday, March 27 in all likelihood. Yes, we'll be tracking personal bests this season but it always takes me a little while to get that engine going. I have some skilled helpers, but it runs on data I have not collated quite yet. But we'll have yellow Personal Best ribbons as in the past.

Happy Easter to all! But first, I'll see you on the track Tuesday,


Sunday, March 16, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 10 Mar 08

Greetings Track Families,

A very short note this week -- no really! I am capable of brevity. Just watch.

Two practices this week:
  • Tuesday 3/11 from 5pm to 6:15pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday 3/13 from 5pm to 6:15pm at College Park HS
First Regular Meet next weekend:
  • Saturday, 3/15 at 9am at Freedom High School, Oakley
There are directions on the web site. Athletes and first shift volunteers should arrive at 8:30am. The elite setup crew should arrive at 8am. First gun at 9am if humanly possible.

Please check your volunteer assignments on the web site under Volunteers -- Meet #1. Please attempt to trade with another family (or convince your spouse or teenager to work for you) if you are scheduled but cannot make it. We will have helpers from the other parishes participating but definitely rely on the CTK/SC/SS parents for many key positions. Thanks in advance.

On behalf of our volunteer coordinators and myself, we would like to extend a big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped the Mini Meet go so smoothly. We definitely appreciate those who stuck around for the second shift when their relief never showed up. Please know that your extra service was greatly appreciated, as was your cheerfulness. Extra service from our volunteers does not go unrewarded either -- we have a drawing at the picnic for those who work more shifts than they have to. More on that later.

We will have ribbons on Tuesday from the Mini Meet and should have Starburst Awards on Thursday if things go well. Results will eventually be posted as soon as the highly-unpaid volunteer now typing them in finishes. And personal best ribbons too, in this best of all
possible worlds...

Final note: Please help the coaches by encouraging your kids to try different events at the first
few meets. It might take a few tries to find the sweet spot that most kids have.

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, March 3, 2008

Track workouts for the week of Mar 3...

Hi Coaches,

The workout plan for this week is on the web site and I'll have hard copies for the primary coaches at practice Tuesday. I also have a bunch more stuff for each of the primary groups concerning the meet.

I have a few more quick things for you regarding practices and next weekend's Mini Meet.

Limit Athletes At Popular Field Event Workouts
If you read the workout plans, it says that 12 athletes per practice can go to HJ or SP. Do your best to only send athletes from your groups to these events when its their day. Event coaches should not be afraid to shoo away extra athletes. Please get me involved if there is a problem and I'll help arbitrate if necessary.

Long Jump is also supposed to be limited to 12 kids per pit.

Sign Up Athletes for their Mini Meet Events
Use any down time while waiting for practice to begin or after the cool down lap to get athlete's signed up for this weekend. I've tried to make the meet entry sheets simpler than they used to be. It's very useful to know if an athlete is going to miss the meet so circle "Absent" on the sheet and help your relay team planning that way.

Each athlete can do no more than 2 running and 1 field event, or 1 running and 2 field events. Relays don't count in this as we expect everyone to do the 4x100m race if they are at the meet. Late relays are entirely optional and we may not even get to them this Saturday.

This is an AFTERNOON meet; let's make sure everyone is aware of that!

St. Ignatius Is Coming!

Well, not the actual saint, but I invited the St. Ignatius team to our Mini Meet again this year. It will make it a more realistic meet with another parish present and besides, Wendell, their coordinator, is a heckuva nice guy. Let's make them welcome.

Keep Off the Soccer Field
Let's continue to remind the kids to keep off the soccer field, which is surrounded at College Park by yellow lines. (There won't be any soccer going on this Saturday during our meet; I checked.)

See you on the track,


Sunday, March 2, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 3 Mar 08

Greetings Track Families,

By this time next weekend many of you will have experienced your first CYO Track Meet. Here's hoping you and your kids enjoy yourselves at next Saturday's team Mini-Meet!

Practice Schedule
We'll practice two this week as usual, but we'll extend the practices by 15 minutes to celebrate the increased daylight we'll have in March:
  • Tuesday, March 4, 5 - 6:15pm -- College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 6, 5 - 6:15pm -- College Park HS track
Volunteer Alert
Expect a reminder phone call from the volunteer coordinators (or one of their helpers) regarding your work assignment. Please note that they may have assigned you a job if you signed up late or perhaps we moved you from your original assignment to fill a more urgent need. Thank in advance for your flexibility.

Please check the Volunteers page on the web site for the Mini Meet volunteer positions. If you are not signed up already but are available to work (especially in the second shift, and especially if you are experienced), please contact our volunteer coordinators, Trish or Greg Brown ( to let them know where you can help. This is a training exercise for our "real" meets so we expect everyone to help out. Thanks!

Officiating Clinic

Tom Spain, our meet director, and I will be putting on our annual Officiating Clinic especially for parents new to the team who will be working meets. While most of the meet jobs can be learned on the job, please try to come to the Officiating Clinic for a preview and overview that you might appreciate knowing about. If you are an experienced meet volunteer who is willing to come to the clinic to talk about any of the events, please contact me.
  • Tuesday, March 4, 7pm at Christ the King School, room 223 (7th grade classroom)
T-Shirts Coming
Your athlete's T-shirts should be available at practice Thursday or at the mini-meet on Saturday. If not, kids may wear last year's T-shirt or anything they like since this is just a practice meet for our team. Stay tuned.

Which Events Should My Kids Do at the Meet?
The two most frequently asked questions I hear at this time of year are
  • What is the order of events?
  • Which events should my kids do?
The first one is addressed on the front page of the web site. I also have little cards to hand out that summarize the same information.
The second question is more subtle but you and your kids will quickly come to your own understanding. Here are our guidelines:
  • We encourage kids to pick different events over the first 3 meets as far as possible. What we don't want is for kids to decide coming into track that they are sprinters and only ever run the 50m and 100m races. Since each athlete is allowed to do 2 individual running events and 1 field event (or else 1 individual running event and 2 field event) at each meet,they can try out quite a lot of distances. Relays do not count in this -- kids can do all three relays each week if they want.
  • On the other hand, it is useful for the coaches to find out who is fast for planning relay teams. We usually build relay teams strictly on a merit basis with the fastest 4 kids on the "A" relay team and the second fastest on the next team and so on. However, some kids improve more than others so these things are not set in stone until later in the season. Anyway, I often encourage everyone to do a 100m race in the first couple of meets just so I get all their times.
  • Every athlete is expected to run in the 4x100m relay near the beginning of each meet. It's important that you alert your primary coach if your athlete is not coming to a meet so that the coach can adjust the relay teams.
  • If a kid just isn't sure what to do, his or her coach will help.
Meet Schedule Ready Soon
The schedule for the remainder of our meets will be ready very soon. Unlike all of our recent seasons, we'll be traveling further afield because our local tracks are unavailable for a variety of reasons. On the plus side, we'll be visiting some very nice facilities!

See you on the track,


Saturday, February 23, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 25 Feb 08

Greetings Track Families,

We've had three week of practice now and there are 239 kids currently signed up which might be a record. With so many kids, it's taking the coaches a little longer than usual to learn all of the names. I hope that I haven't wounded any athletes yet by calling them the wrong name.

Two Practices This Week
We'll have two practices this week as usual:
  • Tuesday, Feb 26, from 5-6pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday, Feb 28, from 5-6pm at College Park HS
I have to be out of town this week on business so no one will be making dubious weather forecasts before each practice and updating the web site. Generally, if it's raining hard, we will not practice. If there are only "light scattered showers," then there will be practice if the coaches judge it safe.

Soccer Players on the Field

Last Thursday I found out that College Park has double-booked the soccer field with Heritage Soccer Club. Our field permit is for both the track and the field so I was surprised. However, the club also has a permit so I guess we'll have to share. The club will warn its coaches that large numbers of kids will be using the track and ask them to be careful around the edges. Should safety start to be a real problem, we will deal with it somehow.

In the mean time, our own athletes need to keep their eyes open and not walk across the soccer part of the field during practice. I know there are lots of Heritage (and other soccer organization) players on our team so maybe our kids will find it entertaining while waiting (say) for their relay team's turn.

Meet Volunteer Jobs Posted

The meet jobs for the Mini Meet, 4 regular meets, the Relay Meet, and our Qualifying Meet are now posted on the web site under Volunteers. These mostly reflect those parents who signed up for jobs at the two sign-up nights. There are still plenty of openings left for all of the meets, especially the Mini-Meet on the afternoon of March 8.

The spreadsheets you see posted are Google documents that are reposted almost immediately after one of us makes an edit so you can always check back to see the latest openings.

Help Wanted

If you signed up late for the team, please examine the openings (especially for the Mini Meet) and send an email to our Volunteer Coordinators, Greg and Trish Brown, at, specifying your preferences and they will try to fit you in. If you do not contact them, Greg, Trish or one of their assistants will eventually assign you jobs.

Remember that the point of the Officiating Clinic on Tuesday, March 4th, and the whole team Mini Meet is for new parent volunteers to learn how to efficiently run a meet. So even if you don't know how to be a relay judge, go ahead and sign up for something. Only a few of the jobs require much experience, and we'll show you what to do.

There are blacked out spaces on the spreadsheets reserved for other parishes in all of the meets except our team-only Mini Meet. So don't ask for a blacked out job!

Leaving the Team?

If your child and track have turned out not to be a good match, please let me know and do not disappear. This is for two reasons First, I want to give you your money back, or at least as most of it. Second, we want to remove you from your volunteer jobs so that we can replace you. The former is good for you; the latter is essential for the team!

Have fun this week,


Carl Godkin
CTK/St.C/St.S Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, February 18, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 18 Feb 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Practice Schedule
We'll practice twice this week again, on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 until dark at College Park.

As we mentioned at the parent meet a couple of weeks ago, running shoes are vital for your athletes' comfort, health, and performance. I still see some of our kids at practice in basketball shoes and skateboard shoes. Please put your kids into running shoes. Even more important , please have your runner WEAR those running shoes to practice.

Spikes can be worn on College Park's track if your athlete has a pair. I have replacement spikes in my red bag. No, spikes are not required for our team. Some kids will insist that they must have them, but it's not true. Don't buy their hype. If you do get spikes, only pyramid style spikes 1/4" inch or shorter are allowed in CYO competition. Talk to your coach if you want any additional input.

Team Roster
Full alphabetical roster with contact info: (send email to to request)
Coaches roster by grade with less info: (send email to to request)

Late Sign-Ups

We have 229 kids signed up at the moment, and we will only accept new sign-ups through the end of this week.

Don't Like Track After All?
If our track program is not working for you or your familiy for whatever reason, I am happy to issue refunds for your fees and either return or shred your volunteer deposit check. Please let me know and provide a mailing address where the refund check is to be sent. By dropping formally, we will know to remove you from the volunteer assignments you may be leaving behind. I am happy to give back at least partial refunds well into the season, so there's no hurry.

Miss Past Track News?
If you are joined us late and want to read past email newsletters, please check the News link on the team web site. The mechanism I'm using to archive these mails is a "blog" which makes me feel extremely trendy indeed. Look out, we could have a podcast next season! (No, I wouldn't do that to you.)

See you on the track,


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Track Workouts for the week of Feb 18

Hi Coaches,

I've just posted the week's workouts under "Workouts" on the team web site.

Generally, we're now going to follow a pattern from now through the Qualifying Meet:
  • Each age group will practice relays every third practice. All kids participate.
  • HJ & SP will see 5th graders every third practice, and 6th-8th graders on the other days..
  • LJ will see each age group every third practice. There are two pits, so more kids can do long jump than other field events at practice.
  • Distance and two kinds of sprint workouts will generally be available on non-relay days.
Here are some guidelines, especially for field events:
  • Please don't send the exact same kids to the same events every time. We have (for better or worse) a very large team and we want everyone to get a chance to try any of the field events that interest them. It's a buffet!
  • Start figuring out who will do which field event workout while we're waiting in the bleachers since I don't want to spend a lot of time "transitioning," especially with daylight at a premium. You might find it encourages kids to come to practice on time.
  • Assistant coaches, please help the primary coaches with both of the above.
Road runs can start whenever Coach Paul feels it's time, which may be Tuesday. All assistant coaches who signed up for road runs are highly encouraged to be ready to go on Tuesday and from now on. We'll have just the oldest kids go on road runs Tuesday, so losing kids and kids lagging behind should be less of a problem than when we have the younger kids go.

Coach Jeff (and not me, after a lot of years!!) will be leading most of the sprint workouts. He's going to be leading technique-related workouts that emphasize starting stance, explosive starts, reaction time, sprinting body mechanics and conditioning (repeat workouts of 180-200m and 75m-100m distances). His workout will generally start at the first relay exchange (hey -- now we're talking like track people!) and he will need some assistance.

Coach Sharon has traditionally lead the middle-distance workouts and will continue to do so. Sharon -- I'm generally going to give you two lanes in the middle of the track (starting Thursday) and not provide a specific workout.

I am going to wander around the track, helping or filling in where I can. This Tuesday there are 92 4th and 5th graders doing a relay workout so I'll probably stick an oar in there, perhaps taking some of the rookies onto the field to work on handoffs while Diane takes the veterans on the track.

As usual, if you have suggestions, I am all ears. As I told the parent meeting, my main goal is to have the kids have enough fun that they come back next season and perhaps carry their enjoyment into high school.

See you on the track,


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Error on Handout at Parent Meeting

I made a mistake on the General Information Sheet handout distributed at the parent meeting. In fact, there is more than one.

The actual dates for the League Championship Meet are
  • Friday, May 2nd, venue TBD
  • Saturday, May 3rd at Granada HS, Livermore
The actual dates for the Diocese Championship Meet are
  • Friday, May 9th, venue TBD
  • Saturday, May 10 at Granada HS, Livermore
Sorry for the confusion!


Monday, February 11, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 11 Feb 08...

Greetings Track Families,

We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, Feb 12, from 5pm to dusk at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, Feb 14, from 5pm to dusk at College Park HS track
Parent Meeting Handouts Posted
For those unfortunates who missed the parent meeting, the handouts are posted
on the team web
site under Handouts. Thank you for coming if you did make it.

Besides the information on the handouts, our main news is that with DVC unavailable this season, we'll be doing more driving. The meet schedule is not ready yet (and of course you'll find out here when it is) but the venues are likely to be Ygnacio Valley HS in Concord, Freedom HS in Brentwood, and Granada HS in Livermore. There's a chance, thanks to CTK track parent Sandy Jones, that we could find ourselves at Riverview Middle School in Bay Point at times too. (Before you write in and ask, "What about XXX or YYY?," please realize that the league coordinators have thoroughly researched all of the obvious and most of the not-so obvious tracks. Sandy's idea was one we hadn't thought of yet, but DVC, DLS, CVHS, CPHS, and other local tracks were all ruled out for one reason or another.)

Meet Jobs
I've typed in all of the meet jobs you signed up for before the season began and I will be working with our volunteer coordinators to fill in the gaps with those who signed up late. I hope we'll have all of these posted soon.

Job Openings
There are two key team jobs that we could use volunteers for:

First Aid Coordinator -- In the past, we've had two parents with first aid training share this job. We would like one of you to be available at the meets in case there are first aid needs. Typically, this just involves band-aids and ice packs in most cases. The team has a big first aid bag that I bring to every practice and meet. Contact me if interested. (At least three of our coaches have considerable first aid training but they are often occupied at the meets.) Sharing this job would count as your complete volunteer requirement.

Data Entry -- We type in results at the meets into Excel macros using 10-key pads. If you would like to help with, probably working three or four half-meet shifts, please let me know. This job would complete your whole volunteer requirement also.

If you are signed up for something else, we'll remove you from those jobs and fill them with other parents.

Team Roster
If you are interested in viewing the team roster, there are two views available that I will keep up to date during the season. I didn't want to post them directly on our web site to help you keep your contact information a little more private. Instead, I've published some Google spreadsheets with URLs I will send you upon request.

(You'll notice the text size on the latter is a little larger so that yours truly can read them sans spectacles!)

Late Sign-Ups

We have 214 kids signed up at the moment, and all of them are apparently in Coach Diane's 4th/5th grade boys group. This number moves around a lot and we will still accept new sign-ups through the end of next week. Tell your friends, especially if they are speedy!

See you on the track,


Saturday, February 2, 2008

CTK Track News -- First Practice This Week!

Greetings 2008 CTK/St.C/St.S Track Families,

Welcome to another fun season of CYO track featuring the mighty combined team of Christ the King, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen parishes! I'll be sending (at least) a weekly email for the rest of the season with news about the team, meets, and so on.

We will be practicing at College Park High School this season, generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 5pm. We'll finish up by 6pm until the time changes in March; please don't be late picking up your athletes after practice.

Our first two practices will be:

Tuesday, Feb 5 5-6pm at College Par High School track
Thursday, Feb 7 5-6pm at College Park High School track

Dress warmly for practices at College Park. Even though your kids are probably like mine and pretend not to feel the cold, PLEASE send them to practice in sweats.

Athletes should wear running shoes, sweats, and bring a water bottle. Ideally, they should bring all of these things home afterwards too.

Parents should walk their athletes down to the track and either come to the track for pickup at 6pm, or meet us shortly after practice ends at the gate to the parking lot.

Weather might concern you so here's our plan: We practice on an all-weather track, so it's possible to practice no matter what the weather. However, in the interest of keeping all of the coaches from quitting, I cancel practice if the weather is particularly bad. I will post an announcement about practice on the front page of the web site ( by 4pm if practice will be canceled. Please check if you have any doubts.

Parent Meeting
Don't forget the Track Parent Meeting on Thursday, February 7th, at 7pm in the Christ The King Parish Hall. We hope that at least one parent from each family will come and learn more about the program, meet the coaches, and get their questions answered. There are some changes this season that you will want to be aware of so I hope even veterans will come.

Web Site
Our team web site has a map (on the Directions page), a schedule of events (on the Schedule page), and lots of other information. Once the webmaster gets caught up, you will be able to double-check your volunteer assignments, view the team roster, and even view meet results. The
web site address is at the bottom of every mail you get from the team this year. Please visit

Mailing List
For no extra charge, we can add other email addresses to this mailing list if your family wants multiple copies. Likewise, if you want to drop an email address, please let me know.

Late Sign-ups

We will accept late sign-ups until about February 21st. If you have friends who are interested, please invite them to check out the web site or even to come to practice. Kids not (yet!) signed up for the team are welcome to practice with the team to see if they like it SO LONG AS A PARENT stays at the track during practice. (That's because I don't have a medical release and if anything should happen, we'd have a problem.)

See you on the track and the parent meeting,


Monday, January 28, 2008

Track Practice Structure

Hi Coaches,

Here are some details about how we run our practices. All times are approximate. Remember -- our goal is to have fun, be safe, and also to make everyone feel welcome. You'll have some super athletes in your group but also some kids who don't look much like track stars to the untutored eye. They will all surprise you.

5pm -- Everyone arrives and gathers in the bleachers where we'll usually bore the kids with a few announcements. It takes a while for everyone to trickle in. The CPHS track team will usually be on the track until 5:15pm, but we'll still tell everyone that our practices begin at 5pm.
We have to keep the kids off the track for safety reasons so I hope you'll all help.

5:15pm -- The high school team should be off the track by now. Practice begins with a warm-up lap and then we break up into "primary groups," each of which is lead by a "primary coach" as follows: Val Gebhart (2-3 boys), Diane Quigley (4-5 boys), me (6-7-8 boys), Karen Sandri (2-3 girls), Paul Hollidge (4-5 girls), and Sharon White (6-7-8 girls).

Each group will have a spot on the track where the kids will wind up after their lap (or lap and a half, depending the group). We do this warm-up lap before we begin stretching since it's best to stretch warm muscles.

In the past, we usually did static stretching first followed by running drills/dynamic stretching. This season, for my group at least, we're going to change that around since many of the kids don't actually warm up much as they lazily walk the warm-up lap or show up late.

-- Running drills/Dynamic stretching. Again, the primary coaches will lead this to begin with and you'll quickly get the idea. We encourage the kids to skip higher, lunge farther, and lift those knees higher, claiming all the while that it will improve their performance. Maybe it will.

5:25pm --
-- Static stretching. The primary coaches will lead this at first and then assistants can take it over once you know the program. I like to let different kids lead the stretches though it can be challenging to keep them from being excessively silly about it.

This will take about all of our time for the first couple of weeks as darkness will descend.

After the first couple of weeks, you'll be treated to me blowing a whistle as hard as I can as a signal to break into workout groups. Each primary group will have different options on different days and you will help your primary coach distribute your group. This is naturally harder for the younger groups than the older kids, but on the other hand the younger kids actually take suggestions more readily so it's a wash.

Depending on who is available for field events, we will have shot put, high jump, long jump, relay practice, road runs, and both sprint and middle-distance workouts.

As we approach the end of practice, I'll blow the whistle again to send everyone back to their groups. They are supposed to do another lap (we call it the "cool down lap") and then stretch with their groups until they are dismissed.

At College Park, we will then walk the kids to the parking lot and at least one coach of each gender will wait with the kids until all are picked up. I often am happy to wait out the inevitable late parent, but occasionally have to leave right away for another event so I hope you'll all take a turn every few weeks.

See you soon!


Welcome 2008 Track Coaches

Hi Coaches,

Thank you very much for volunteering to coach track this season.

Our first practice will take place one week from tomorrow, at 5pm on Tuesday,
February 5, at College Park High School track.

I will fill you in on our little ways over the next week so that all of the new folks
have some idea what to expect over the coming season. Retired head coach
Chris Walsh designed our practices over the past three years and I'm open
to suggestions on improving what we've done in the past. More on that later.

But first, there are three preliminaries to take care of first. Please read
the following carefully:

Besides the actual practices, every organization has its share of requirements
when working with kids and the Oakland Diocese is no exception.

1. Every coach is required to complete an online program called Shield the Vulnerable.

The Diocese of Oakland requires that all NEW volunteers complete safe environment training. To take the course on line:
  • Log on to
  • Select "Oakland Diocese"
  • Fill in registration form and indicate "CYO."
  • Complete registration and begin course.
  • Complete the training and print out the certificate.
  • Bring the certificate to the workshop (see next item)
2. There is a mandatory CYO Philosophy meeting for all of the coaches in the league coming up on Thursday, March 13th. There is a flyer describing the meeting here:
As usual, the meeting will take place at CTK though in the Parish Hall this
year. Note that this meeting is mandatory, though you may attend another section's meeting instead.

By attending this meeting, you will become a "certified coach" which is theoretically required for all of our coaches. During the season, only coaches wearing the certified coaches badge will be allowed on the track at meets. Please mark your calendar and attend hustle over to CTK right after our practice on March 13th.

3. All coaches must turn in a completed Volunteer Application. I handed out the form
during sign-ups, but it's also available for download from the team web site (on the Handouts page).

Thanks again for your help!


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Welcome to CTK Track 2008

Welcome to the 2008 CYO Track & Field Season!

This being the 21st century, I'm going to publish the weekly (at least) team newsletter as a blog this season and see how it goes. This means that previous postings will be archived so you don't need to save them yourself (as I know you all do) and even that I can go back and fix mistakes. More than once since I started coordinating the track program have wished I could retract an email already sent out.

I've entered the kids signed up so far and those who I am certain are still to sign up and we have 186 athletes already, divided roughly between girls and boys and pretty evenly spread through the grades. (We are actually rather short of 2nd and 3rd grade boys, which also happened last season, so please spread the word!)

Meanwhile, here are some important tidbits:
  • I will make the team roster available shortly just to team families, and post more news about our team at least weekly during the season.
  • Our first practice will be Tuesday, February 5, at 5pm at College Park High School track
  • We will accept late sign-ups at practice through February 21.
Rain Info
  • We will practice in light rain, but cancel practice for a real rainstorm, especially if there is any danger of lightning. Rain earlier in the day won't affect our practices because College Park has an all-weather track.
  • Check the front page of the team web site ( for a decision about rain cancellations if the weather is bad.